The Pancake Chronicles

The Pancake Chronicles: my favourite Christmas book

The Pancake Chronicles

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

my favourite Christmas book

My favourite Christmas book is Snowman - a $2 discovery I chanced over in the bargain children's book section of a Winner's in Calgary almost five years ago. I kick myself annually around this time when I pull out the book and wonder why I didn't buy every single copy they had to give away to those I love. I mean $2, people! Clearly I wasn't thinking ... clearly.

Written and illustrated by Jacques Duquennoy with translation by Marc Fournier, the story is of a snowman named Snowman. Snowman is an elementary school teacher who has secret aspirations of superherohood.

The book uses very little dialogue but relies mainly on its play-by-play whimsical pencil drawings to convey the story. Each bit of it is so absolutely delightful that when I read it I want to go outside and kiss snowflakes and shake mittens with strangers. It begins with Snowman waking to the day, placing his cereal bowl out on the window sill of his igloo to fill up with winter's precipitation for breakfast. Off he goes to shovel snow into an oven to cool the house down nicely and just before gobbling down the contents of his now filled cereal bowl he snaps off an icicle over his doorway for something to drink. These sweet details are the grammar and syntax of a wholly gladsome adventure. Some scenarios will make you laugh aloud, perhaps like this - HAR! or - heeee! also - sNOrT. I REFUSE to tell you the rest of the tale. You must find out for yourself. I mean, how do you live with yourself bossing me around as you do?

Here is Snowman putting in a fresh nose:
snowman clip

And here he is choosing the perfect tree:
snowman clip 2
The fact that this last little section is crooked is not lost on me but I was unwilling to do the work needed to change things. You might think it would not take much to change and technically it shouldn't but it does because if it didn't take much I would do it but too many things went slightly awry and it involves other too many things like hurting my book's binding yet again (which is worst of all) and using scissors and glue and special lighting (which includes a shocking amount of unnecessary flurry and a slightly heated vocabulary) as well as a feeling of hmmmm, I sense a headache coming on due to Avoidable Blur so FORGET IT. I'm already saying WAY too much about how persnickety I can be.

Where was I? Oh yep!
Please do yourself a favour and purchase this wonderful story. So much of Jacques' work sadly seems to be no longer available so I would encourage you to obtain this absolute treasure whilst you can. A paperback version can be found at Amazon.

Happy Christmas! Merry Holidays!

P.S. Buy it.
I'm serious.


Blogger Koala Bear said...

That sounds like a great book....and you have an amazing way of retelling part of the story! I still think you should write a children's book and get published and become famous.

21 November 2007 at 21:27  
Blogger Sonya said...

Oh Colleen! What are you doing to me girl? Surely you must know what a book lover I am. And here you are tempting me with what looks like an absolutely delightful book that I have never even heard of. I will definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for this treasure.

21 November 2007 at 22:53  
Blogger Nan - said...

There's another wonderful book about a snowman told through pictures, called The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. I think you would really like it.

22 November 2007 at 07:10  
Blogger Rachel said...

I'm happy to know I am not the only adult that buys kids books for herself....and I check them out of the library too :)

22 November 2007 at 09:04  
Blogger emilyruth said...

hey snow girl! i just looked this adorable book up on amazon (usa version) & it has used ones starting at 40cents! crazy!...i love these types of books & i have lots of christmas books for kids...that i haven't let my actual kids look at yet...not quite yet...maybe next year:)

24 November 2007 at 19:41  

any questions?

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