Prather’s Pick: ‘Snowzilla’ a cool read for children

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Diane Prather

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Courtesy photo/Amazon Publishing

"Snowzilla" by Janet Lawler

Kids love snowmen, and they will enjoy this week’s picture book about an extraordinary snowman.

“Snowzilla” was written by Janet Lawler and illustrated by Amanda Haley. The story takes place in a town where it snows a lot. In fact, it snows for weeks and weeks without stopping.

Cami Lou, the little girl and leading character of the book, and the family dog watch it snow, and they don’t look at all unhappy. Maybe that’s because they have plans for all the snow.

When it finally stops snowing, Cami helps her brother get into his snow clothes. Her brother studies a little tassel that hangs down from the top of his winter hat.

The winter clothes worn by the characters of this book are very creative. Cami’s hat resembles a crown with a tassel at every crown-like point. Even her boots have tassels hanging from them.

Anyway, Cami has an idea. She wants to build a huge snowman. She and her brother pack together a great big snowball. Then when Mom plows the front yard with a blade on the pickup, she makes a great big mound of snow. Cami and her brother form it into the snowman’s middle.

The snowman parts are so big that Cami has to use her dad’s front-end loader to put the head on top of the middle. The snowman is starting to look real big.

The kids have to use a ladder to put the snowman’s facial features in place. It appears his hat is made, in part, from a trash can. His buttons are hubcaps, and his tree branch arms hold five mittens each.

A huge snowman like this has to have a special name, so Cami names him Snowzilla. He’s the giant of snow!

Well, people of all ages and from a lot of different places come to see Snowzilla. Thousands of people come there in big yellow buses. They take pictures, dance around and cheer.

However, not everybody is happy about the huge snowman.

Neighbors complain. One lady complains that her poodle, Poochie, is scared to go outside. A man says the view isn’t as good as it used to be — indeed, all he sees is the snowman’s middle.

And a woman is afraid that when the weather warms up, there will be a lake. So the neighbors organize. They make signs. They file lawsuits.

The poor lady judge has to decide. She rules that, for the peace of the town, Snowzilla will have to come down.

What to do? Cami doesn’t give up. She uses email, texting and blogging to contact friends and relatives. The next day, a man arrives in town.

He stands in the back of his pickup parked next to Snowzilla. He holds up a meter stick and measures the snowman. Volunteers drive up with lumber and scaffolding. Some others bring muffins and cocoa served in snowman cups as snacks for the helpers.

Can Cami Lou save Snowzilla?

This is a fun book for the winter season, and the reader will enjoy Cami’s plans for the next winter.

Janet Lawler has written other books for children, including “Tyrannoclaus.” Amanda Haley has illustrated more than forty children’s books, including “Reading to Peanut.”

“Snowzilla” is published by Amazon Children’s Publishing (2012). The book costs $16.99 in hardcover, or you can find it at the Moffat County Libraries.

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