Carle, Eric. 2000. Dream Snow. Penguin Young Readers Group.
Genre: Picture book
Suggested readers: Elementary, cycle 1
It’s December 24th, and the old farmer settles down for a winter’s nap, wondering how Christmas can come when there is no snow! It is in his dream that he imagines a snowstorm coming and covering him and his animals—named One, Two, Three, Four and Five—in a snowy blanket. But when the farmer awakens, he finds that it has really snowed outside, and now he remembers something! Putting on his red suit, he goes outside, puts some gifts under the tree for his animals, and presses a button near a Christmas tree, creating a most surprising musical treat for children everywhere.
Eric Carle’s books have those unique colorful collage-like illustrations. It’s always a pleasure to see children discover his stories. This one is no exception. What students like most about this book is guessing which animals are being hidden under a blanket of snow. Carle uses a transparent sheet over his illustrations, and spatters it with white paint to create a snowy effect. Each farm animal is hidden behind a hill of ‘snow’ so you don’t know which animal he is referring to until you flip the page.
This is a wonderful book to work predictions with students. They can try to guess what animal is One, Two, Three. You can record their guesses on the board. After, while reading the story, you can see if their predictions were right. As a reinvestment, students can write another story, with different animals (objects, gifts or even people!). They can easily reproduce the “snow effect” with a white piece of paper glued on another sheet. The sentence “The snowflakes gently covered __________with a white blanket” can be printed on the sheet on which they draw their animal.
– Hélène Laforest, English consultant, CSSH