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Snowmen at Night

Last updated Thursday, December 8, 2011

Author: Caralyn Buehner
Illustrator: Mark Buehner
Date of Publication: 2002
ISBN: 0803725507
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Dec. 2011

Synopsis: From School Library Journal:
A child wonders why a snowman looks droopy the morning after it was made and decides that snowmen must be nocturnal. The bouncy, rhyming text describes the imagined rumpus in which the snowmen have races, do tricks on skates, and bump into one another like clowns. "They gather up their snowballs, the pitcher takes his aim,/and underneath the moonlit sky they play a baseball game./No one knows just how it started,/but soon it's quite a sight-/with snowmen throwing snowballs/in the world's best snowball fight!" After a night of action, the tired snowmen return to their homes. The oil-over-acrylic paintings capture the fun of the rollicking adventures and bring these round creations to life. The illustrations convincingly depict their solid bodies in action, and the moonlit snowy setting provides a sense of mystery. The imaginative description and lively art could provide an entertaining read-aloud for bedtime sharing or winter storytimes.

Note to readers:
•  During picture walk, read the inside jacket of the book and tell the kids about the hidden pictures.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Find the hidden images/shapes painted in the wintertime scenes (See if you can find a cat, a rabbit, a Santa face, and a Tyrannosaurus Rex.)
•  Have you ever seen snow?
•  Have you ever made a snow man?
•  What are things people do in the snow?
•  What do you think a snowman does at night?

•  Drooped
•  Anxious
•  Pond
•  "Tuckered out"
•  Grin
•  Crooked

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why does the snowman melt?
•  How do snowmen move if they have no legs?
•  Has anyone gone ice skating?
•  Has anyone made a snow angel?
•  Can you think if another book or movie that have things coming alive at night? [Toy Story, Night at the Museum, etc]
•  If you were a snowman, which activity would most like to do?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a snowman and decorate it with hats, scarves, etc. from the book
•  Draw a wintertime scene and pick an image to hide in your picture
•  Mark a Pop Up Card with a Snowman
•  Cut out different sized circles and snowman accessories and have the kids assemble their own snowman (or snowwoman).

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!