The biggest, best snowman [kit] /

Nell is told by her BIG sisters and her mother that she is too small to help out, but everyone, including Nell, feels differently after her forest friends give her the confidence to build a large snowman. Full description

Main Author: Cuyler, Margery.
Other Authors: Hillenbrand, Will., Casserly, Jane., Labriola, Art.
Format: Kit
Language: English
Published: New York : Scholastic Audio, 2007
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Review by Booklist Review

Ages 4^-7. In this heartwarming tale with Cinderella overtones, Little Nell lives in a BIG house with boisterous BIG Mama and two blustery BIG sisters. Whenever Nell wants to participate at home, they tell her she is too small. So Little Nell retreats into the BIG snowy woods to play with the animals that have befriended her. When Bear Cub asks her to show the animals how to make a snowman, Nell's programmed response is, "No, I can't. I'm too small." But her animal friends give her the confidence she needs to try, and the result--a towering creature of titanic stature--amazes everyone, especially BIG Mama, who proclaims it to be "the biggest, best snowman that ever was." Hillenbrand uses a wide variety of art materials to create charming, snow-filled winter scenes that make effective use of Nell's small stature to add visual punch. The book's 9-by-11-inch trim size also works well with the story line. Lauren Peterson

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

A little girl accomplishes big things in this winning picture book. "Big Mama, Big Sarah, and Big Lizzie" tell Little Nell she's too small to be of help, so Little Nell spends her days in the snow playing with her forest friends. When Reindeer, Hare and Bear Cub urge her to make a snowman, she thinks she's too small. But prodded by their encouraging words and offer of help, Little Nell constructs a splendiferous snowman that makes her family realize she's not so small or helpless after all. As crisp and delicately patterned as a snowflake, Cuyler's (That's Good, That's Bad!) tale brims with rhyming words ("She carefully patted and matted and batted the snow into a tiny ball") and recurring phrases ("She rolled it and rolled it and rolled it to Reindeer") with which children will gleefully chime in. She explores larger themes such as a child's yearning to feel significant and the value of cooperation within the cozy context of family and friendship. Hillenbrand (Traveling to Tondo) matches the jaunty prose with puckish style. Readers will relish the transformation of Little Nell's mother and siblings‘who first appear as fairy-tale wicked stepmother and stepsister types with their wildly sprouting hair‘into compassionate gentlefolk (except Big Lizzie, who still says "Hmmmph!"). The artist makes the most of the snowy setting: eye-popping colors, from the cardinal perched upon the snowman's twiggy arm to Big Mama's bright fuschia overcoat, show up with perfect clarity against the tranquil, wintry backdrop. Frustrated youngsters will find a champion in Little Nell. Ages 4-7. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-A slight story with a few engaging winter scenes and a tiny girl who's happy to prove her worth. Little Nell lives with BIG Mama (who wears bunny slippers), BIG Sarah (who has Christmas ornaments dangling from her ears), and BIG Lizzie (who sports tricolored hair). When Little Nell asks if she can help, all three of them say, "No, you can't...You're too small." Disappointed, the child goes off to the "BIG snowy woods" to play with her friends, Reindeer, Hare, and Bear Cub. With their help, she makes the "biggest, best snowman that ever was" and then invites her astounded family to view it. The mixed-media paintings, done with oils, watercolors, and pencil, are filled with droll whimsy. The use of repetitive phrases and a large, clear typeface make the text relatively easy for beginning readers to follow. While not an essential purchase, this title might find a place in collections needing one more wintry picture book.-Harriett Fargnoli, Great Neck Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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