Snow Magic: Outside by Deirdre Gill
OUTSIDE, THE SNOW FALLS SILENTLY ON THE HOUSE.
INSIDE, A BOY HAS NOTHING TO DO.
His toy dragon mounts an attack on his brother, who sits immobile in front of a screen, oblivious to red plush fantasies.
So the boy suits up in coat, tall boots, and scarf and leaves him behind.
He steps outside... into a different world, and on the bottom step turns around and falls backward...
HE SINKS INTO THE SOFT SNOW.
Looking up at the sky, with just a few wispy clouds, he sees in them the shape of an angel, and makes his own angel in the snow. He knocks on the window and writes on the frosty glass, "Come outside," but his brother is lost in a game on another screen.
SO THE BOY BEGINS TO ROLL A LITTLE CLUMP OF SNOW.
And when the snowball is taller than he is, he sculpts a snow creature.
The snow creature and the boy regard each other seriously and then they begin to build...
THE CASTLE IS PERFECT.
A castle calls for a dragon, and waving goodbye to the snow creature on the ground, the boy mounts the dragon's back and soars, over the trees, over his house, and beyond the village, which grows tiny below him as the sun begins to set.
Then it is time to leave his snow dragon and head back inside, except... there is his brother, finally in his parka and boots and ready to go out, and together by starlight the boys
Not even the most jaded adult commuter can miss the magic of a new-snow morning, all angles softened and all the drab colors of winter vanquished beneath sparkling white. Deirdre Gill's debut book, Outside (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014). forthcoming today, takes the reader outside, outside the house, yes, but also outside the usual world to a place where trees and snowmen become magical beings and even a sunset dragon offers a flight above the everyday world. Gill's narration is simple, set against her illustrations, done in retro style and soft pastels, the grays, blues, and whites of the snow, the soft green of the gingerbread-trimmed farmhouse, and the dragon's-breath red and orange glow of the dragon that evoke everychild's dream of a snowy day. Possibly the best snow book of the year, this one is perfect for reading alone or pairing with the classics, Ezra Jack Keats' The Snowy Day or Raymond Briggs' The Snowman.