Hey everybody! So, here it is, the December poll-winner: The History of the Snowman. (You should also check out the author’s official snowman site here.)
So, really the title gives the whole premise away – this book is one man’s quest to find out everything about the history of snowmen. In our modern America culture, they are a HUGE winter theme – as soon as October hits, you can find snowmen all over the place – cards, napkins, gift wrap, little statues, yard blow-ups, on clothes, dish rags, paintings, ornaments – the list is never-ending. And while most of us have enjoyed making snowmen as kids, we never really stopped to learn about where the heck the idea for the snowman came from. This is Mr. Eckstein’s journey to learn everything he can about the history of snowmen, and though it’s impossible to ever know when the first snow man was made (since you know, they melt and leave no trace behind), it’s still a fun ride.
Bob’s book starts out with the most recent info about the snowman – which is that in this day and age, we like everything super-big (even snowmen), and that we’re lazy (which means we actually buy kits to put together snowmen) and from there the book goes backwards all the way to the cavemen days. While the beginning chapters about the last century were interesting, it was mainly about snowman sightings and evidence that the snowman is a hella big celebrity.
The later chapters, from about chapter 7 and onwards, is where I REALLY started to enjoy this book. While the modern-day snowman sightings were fun, the book starts to get more detailed, in-depth, and historical in the later chapters and definitely grabbed my attention. I had no idea that snowmen were made way back in the day as as form of social and political protest, or that many famous artists of those early centuries created snowmen works-of-art. Apparently making snowmen was the cool (haha, get it?) thing to do in the 1500’s, and it was actually a form of entertainment for people to take strolls through neighborhoods to see all the different bunches of snowmen that people made. I so wish that was still a thing! It’s sad that kids seem more into tv than going outside and making snowmen these days. I think I want to make a snowman this winter. I haven’t done it in years, but now I want to! For some reason there’s no snow on the ground yet, so I may have to wait a bit.
Besides all of the cool historical information and a bunch about history and culture that I didn’t know, the book is filled with pictures and illustrations of snowmen. I particularly enjoyed the snowman cartoons – one is a picture of a snowman with a note on the table, holding a blow dryer to his head – LOL reminds me of The Bunny Suicides, except a snowman!
So all in all, if you’re looking for a nondenominational, seasonal book that’s fun, interesting, and a quick read, you’ve found it! I highly recommend it. I’m off to go impress my friends with all my cool snowman factoids now.
Sarah Says: 4 stars