Keeping: Snow Friend by Alison McGhee
What if you made a friend, a perfect friend, with a great smile just for you?
And what if one day, he suddenly went away?
Alison McGhee's latest, Making a Friend (Atheneum, 2011) tells the story of a boy, all dressed for the snow in his blue coat and red hat, who goes out to find that snow has taken over his landscape, starry snow drifting down while he slept.
All ready to play but feeling a little alone, he builds a snowman, the perfect friend for a snowy day, just the way he wants him to be--a carrot nose, a big smile from lumps of coal, and a scarf and hat borrowed from the boy. Finally, with a last hug for his friend, the boy goes inside, and when he is at last in his pajamas, he tells his new friend goodnight from his window.
But snowmen don't stay forever, and soon the snow has melted, leaving only the boy's red cap behind.
"Snowman, you left your hat.
Where did you go?"
And slowly, as the seasons continue to turn, he knows.
Look! He's in the falling water.
And the frost on the window.
What you love will always be with you.
Marc Rosenthall's illustrations lift this simple philosophical story with its universal theme. His vintage row houses done in faint sepia outlines contrast beautifully with his detailed child and elements of nature in beautiful color, as the boy makes his way through the changing seasons of the year and of life. A sweet story for thoughtful moments.