Thursday, December 23, 2010

The History of the Snowman: Not a Book Report

I can't remember the last time I wrote an actual book report. Maybe it was in middle school? Joe has been writing some amazing pieces for his blog The Composite including reviews of the 100 best books of 2010 (according to the NYTimes). I was so inspired by his love of reading and decision to review, that I decided to give it a try myself.

Each year as the holiday season rolls around, I pull out one of my favorite books The History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein. I received my copy about three years ago from an uncle. I connected with the book's humorous cover and decided to dive right in. By the next day, I had finished. It was that good.

It's been a year since my last read of the book, and I was excited to re-educate myself. It's filled with SO MUCH information about snowmen. My three year old copy is filled with pencil marks, highlighted sentences, and dog-eared pages. I've devised a list of the top five reasons why I love this book:

5: It's full of pictures including historical engravings, film posters, and Eckstein's own sketches. They do a great job of supporting the text!

4: Fully researched. Eckstein really did his homework here. It's so full of information and ends with a pretty substantial reference index.

3: Educational and funny. Eckstein manages to thread his dry sense of humor throughout the historically accurate and informative history of the snowman.

2: It fosters an individual exploration of snowman culture. Check out this great stuff I found on Etsy! Currently over 22,000 results to my "snowman" search! I personally love the pearl snowman earrings...

1: Eckstein facilitates a very interesting discussion about snowmen and their place in the art world. Did you know that in 1400's, the artists in Florence would populate the city with snowmen? I was particularly struck by his statement that a snowman could be the only life size sculpture an individual ever creates.

I've continued to think about this idea of snowmen and sculpture. It is a fantastic and supremely easy, cleaner way to introduce a young person to art and the art of sculpture.

Thanks to Joe, I've been listening to this tune non-stop. I never thought of calling a guy a "snowman." The male equivalent of ice queen? Maybe! Enjoy...

Bears - I'm a Snowman - by the Pop Sucker

This winter, I urge you to read The History of the Snowman and make a snowman with a young person you love.

Happy Holidays!

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