Sunday, December 07, 2008

'S No Time Like Snow Time: Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn and Mark Buehner

On Christmas Eve I made a snowman,
very fat and jolly,
I dressed him up in red and green,
and trimmed his hat with holly.

I saw his arms were trembling,
as if he couldn't wait.
It made me start to wonder--
how do snowmen celebrate?

Author Caralyn Buehner and artist Mark Buehner pick up right where they left off with their best-seller of last year, Snowmen at Night, as they spy on the snowpeople of their jolly town as they turn out for a late night Christmas party.

Scarved and stocking-capped snowfolk--and one bouncy, red-capped snowdog--slip their moorings in front yards everywhere and meet and greet each other as they hustle through the downtown streets, past decorated shop windows still aglow. Into the town center they rumble for a midnight frolic, decorating the evergreens there with snowballs and icicles galore.

The mothers lay out
all kinds of cold treats.
Ice cream and snow cones
and dainty ice sweets.

Then the dancing begins
to the tune of a fiddle.
All the snowmen line up
and sashay down the middle.

Someone says "Hush!"
Could that be a jingle?
Over the hill glides
The snowman Kris Kringle.

As Christmas Day begins to dawn, of course, the snowpeople gather up their gifts, and toting the snowtoddlers and snowbabies on their backs, yawning and smiling, they shuffle quietly back to their own posts in their proper front yards. There, through lighted living room windows, they happily spy on just-wakened moms and dads sleepily watching their children begin their own Christmas celebration.

As in Caralyn and Mark Buehner's earlier work, the rhymes are easy and cheery, and the snowfolk themselves glow with a kind of special light against the midnight blue sky as they enjoy their special time together. Snowmen at Christmas is a joyful and jolly work, a perfect pairing of text and art which make for a wonderful holiday story.

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