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Contributor(s): Gill, Deirdre

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ISBN: 0547910657     ISBN-13: 9780547910659
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Binding Type: School And Library - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: October 2014

Annotation: When his brother refuses to come outside, a child plays by himself in the snow and creates an imaginary world.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Snow; Fiction.
Play; Fiction.
Imagination; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Fantasy & Magic
- Juvenile Fiction | Imagination & Play
- Juvenile Fiction | Nature & The Natural World | Environment
Dewey: [E]
LCCN: 2013039034
Academic/Grade Level: Kindergarten, Ages 5-6
Book type: Easy Fiction
Physical Information: 11.50" H x 9.00" W x 0.25" (0.94 lbs) 36 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2015 Spring)
A little boy puts on his winter gear and heads outside to play on a snowy day. His imagination soon takes over: making a snow angel leads to building a snow companion that plays with him and helps him build a snow castle. The boy's snow creations--shown in blue-and-white-hued oil illustrations--are otherworldly, yet seem entirely within the scope of his imaginative play.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2014 #6)
When there's "nothing to do" inside on a snowy day and his big brother won't play with him, a little boy puts on his winter gear and heads outside into the woods. It doesn't take long for his imagination to take over: making a snow angel leads to building a snow companion that plays with him and helps him build the "perfect" snow castle before he soars over his village on a dragon (also, as it turns out, made of snow). The quiet tone of the simple text reflects the tranquility of a snowy day, while varied perspectives and layouts and some wordless illustrations set a slow, thoughtful pace. The illustrations offer subtle clues about where the boy's imaginings will lead: at the start of the book we see him playing with a stuffed toy dragon, for instance, and the snow-covered trees take on the forms of the creatures he'll later build. The boy's snow creations -- shown in Gill's textured oil illustrations, which are mostly blue and white with occasional bright spots of color -- are impossible an Copyright 2014 Horn Book Magazine.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2014 September #5)

Newcomer Gill's story starts on a winter afternoon as a boy tries to persuade his older brother to play outside. (In a collection of otherwise dreamlike spreads, the image of the older boy staring slack-jawed at his computer provides a moment of comedy.) Alone outside, the younger boy builds a gigantic snowman as snow-blanketed spruce trees watch over him; although he doesn't realize it, they're alive. Imagination reigns as the snowman, too, comes to life, peers gently down at the boy, then helps him build a magnificent snow castle. At day's end, the sunset takes shape as a gold- and rose-tinted dragon: "Together the boy and the dragon fly over the trees, over the house, and above the village, until the world below looks very small." Gill understands the dynamics of storytelling and uses economical narration and white space with practiced skill. There's a push-and-pull between the charm of the boy's solitary adventure and the need to resolve the conflict with his older brother; their reconciliation is a tad hasty. Nevertheless, Gill's ability to make the world of imagination come alive is indisputable. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2014 September)

PreS-Gr 2—As an unnamed boy steps outside into the winter snow, he discovers a fantastical playground for his imagination to run rampant. He rouses an imaginary snow friend, a castle, and even a dragon that takes flight across the wintery pages. The brief text has a pleasant simplicity that rambles with a tempered pace while focusing attention on the more weighty and inspiring pictures. Often occurring within sentences, the page turns feel a bit choppy but don't distract too much from the imaginative narrative, inscribed with a touch of poetry. Although there is also something slightly disjointed about the story—in particular, a scene where the snow friend is left behind while the protagonist takes off with the dragon, this book is a solid purchase. The oil-paint illustrations have a likable levity, such as in the boy's slack expression of boredom as he steps backward into the snow, his brother having refused to come out and play. Gill's use of color highlights the boy's red coat, the soft greens of the house, and the golden orange of the dragon, and maintains a lively air despite the soft browns and icy blue shades mixed into the austere landscape. Complete with a nod or two to Ezra Jack Keats's classic The Snowy Day, Outside is a fun opportunity to take a leap of the imagination into softly rendered wintery pages and settle into the wonderland of the outside world.—Erin Reilly-Sanders, Ohio State University, Columbus

[Page 104]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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