The Illustrated History of the Snowman
By Bob Eckstein
I don’t know what it is that’s so fascinating about snowmen, but just like scarecrows, they captured my heart as a child and I’ve loved them ever since. We draw them, decorate with them, make snowman Christmas cookies, watch them on TV, and build them outdoors the first chance we get. So when this book was staring at me at the bookstore, there was no leaving it behind. I knew my family would enjoy it, and we surely have for the past two winter seasons.
“Who made the first snowman? Who first came up with the idea of placing one snowball atop another and then sticking a carrot in the top sphere?”
The author set out on a quest to find out who made the very first snowman. Here in this book he presents all of his extensive (over seven year) research on the history of the snowman. It goes way back in time all the way to the dark ages. The book is somewhat of a snowman ‘encyclopedia’–chock-full of beautiful photos from around the world, which I’ll admit was my favorite aspect of the book. There’s so much to learn here though: world records including the largest and smallest snowman, snowmen in pop culture (my favorite: the Burl Ives snowman from the original children’s special), snowman festivals, appearances of snowmen with historical figures and even wars, how they’re celebrated in other cultures, use in art and politics, and fun little facts about snowmen that are sure to surprise you.
We had no idea just how much historical background the snowman actually had! It was nostalgic for me in many ways, especially looking at some of the old vintage snowman ornaments and decorations from the past. We also loved the fun facts.
“Average number of calories burned, per hour, building a snowman: 238”
If you like snowmen, definitely give this book a try. My whole family has enjoyed it, including the children. My only wish is that the organization were different; it would be nice in chronological order. There are a few parts that are quite offensive too, but it’s fairly easy to skip over those. It’s good to be aware of that if you’re viewing this with young children.
This book is one to revisit over and over again.