The Snowman’s Wish (Sophie Masson, illus by Ronak Taher, Dirt Lane Press)
With The Snowman’s Wish, Sophie Masson and Ronak Taher have crafted a soft tale about the passage of time and the beauty in the world. Mr Snowman, a kindly soul existing happily in an ever-shifting natural environment, welcomes everything around him. In this (slightly Eurocentric-looking) landscape, while children swirl and play around him, Mr Snowman radiates joy, celebrating his surroundings in a chronicle of sensory experience: the colours of the night; the feel of the wind, ‘soft as a whisper’; the smell of nectar and warm earth. Inevitably, of course, spring comes and the snowman, in a quiet depiction of the impermanence of everything, melts away. Reassuringly though, a remarkable flower grows in his place, and the children recognise it as the essence of their dear snowman. Taher’s illustrations—watercolour in texture, with shapes reminiscent of collage—are an ideal complement to Masson’s careful story of enjoying what is around us and knowing that things will always change. This is a lovely book for young readers aged 3–7 and can be read either at narrative face value or as a way of discussing both the senses and the notion of death.
Anica Boulanger-Mashberg is a freelance editor, writer and reviewer, and has worked as a bookseller at The Hobart Bookshop for over 10 years