Oh man. Random acts of kindness? Check. Friendship stories? Check. Messages of empathy? Check, check, check. Philip Stead hits yet another home run with his latest release, Samson in the Snow. I swear, every book he writes is magical; they all find a way to wrap themselves around my heart and never let go. And I'm happy to report that his newest beauty follows perfectly in that tradition. If you like gentle stories about what it means to give, love and celebrate, this one is for you.
Samson in the Snow is one of those quiet tales that tells the story of Samson, a giant woolly mammoth, who spends his time tending to a field of dandelions. When a red bird comes along looking for some yellow flowers for a sad friend, Samson is happy to share his blooms--- and as she flies away, he is left wondering what it would be like to have a friend. He falls asleep, and when he wakes up the world is covered in snow. Samson immediately worries about how cold the red bird must be, and he sets off to find her to make sure she is warm. As he wanders along on his journey, he may just find that warmth can be found in more ways than one.
This book is such a perfect reminder that things happen- beauty happens - when we least expect them. Stead is a master of pacing (several wordless spreads here punctuate the story perfectly) and creating gorgeous characters that expertly match and complement wondrous illustrations. His prose is complex yet unadorned, and it always manages to be filled with heart and wisdom. This story of friendship is one that will stick with you long after the book is closed. Use this title to teach your kids about how small acts of kindness can move mountains and how gracious acts of empathy can change more than just the person on the receiving end of that action. Thank you, Philip Stead, for giving children and adults alike another exquisite treasure in Samson in the Snow. It couldn't have come into the world at a more perfect time, and it will be cherished in our house forever more.
Want the book? Get it here! Samson in the Snow, by Philip Stead. *This is an affiliate link. I received an advanced review copy from the publisher, yet all opinions expressed herein are my own.