Fantastic Friday: The Snowman

I’m a bit too far south and just missed the most recent snow, but several states enjoyed a snow day yesterday.

If you’d read any of my snow-related posts (like The Great Snow Nightmare or several posts inspired by the blizzard birth of my daughter), you’ll know I’m not a huge fan of the cold stuff. But even I’ll admit that there’s something magical about the snow.

My earliest memory of the power of words, one I often share at my author talks, is a night when my dad took me to the dining room window one winter to show me how the full moon made the freshly-fallen snow glow. He quoted a line from “The Night Before Christmas,” a poem we’d memorized together (“the moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow gave the lustre of midday to objects below.”). To me, that moment of staring at the snow under the moonlight made literature come alive. I realized that the poet had captured exactly what I was seeing—a magical, snowy scene—and set it down on paper to be read and imagined forever.

My husband is just the opposite. He loves snow days and always appreciates the beauty of snow (I remind him of this every time I send him out to clear the driveway! I love summer: I get to mow the lawn. He loves snow: he has to shovel and snowblow!)

When I first met him, he introduced me to one of his favorite childhood songs. It came from a film version of The Snowman, a book by Raymond Briggs. I found the entire thing on YouTube. Because it’s Fantastic Friday, I’ve included the version that has the introduction by David Bowie (after all, there’s got to be something warm to counteract all that snow!)

The story follows the reaction of a young boy who wakes up, thrilled to find a magical winter world outside his door. I imagine it’s how my husband must have been as a kid. I’ll admit, when I was younger, there was definitely something magic about snow. In this tale, the boy shows the snowman his world, and then the snowman takes the boy up in the air to visit a snowy wonderland. The tale, with the exception of a song—and David Bowie’s introduction, if you’re watching that version—is wordless:


I read just yesterday that author Raymond Briggs was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award. In the midst of all the hateful news out there lately, it’s refreshing to read something positive.

Besides, I hear it’s supposed to be near 70 this weekend :)