Who can resist a book that leads up to a day off from school to play in the snow? A snowplow driver and a patient, adorable hound passenger don't get to sleep when the snowflakes fall fast and the playground starts turning white. There's work to be done:
"Fill the hopper. Test the brakes.
Driver's ready? Wide awake!"
This active, almost sing-song language works like reverse psychology, bringing children back down from their energetic days into a state of wonder and relaxation. They remember that the world will go on taking care of them, as does the driver ("scrape and salt and sand all night") even when they fall asleep. New wonders will await in the morning. The very last page reverts to the present and "time to sleep."
Pictures by award-winning New York Times bestselling illustrators Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson are the kind that parents and caregivers will want to gaze at again after the children start snoring. Enormous snowflakes like flower petals adorn most pages, which mystically blend into the deep purples of night, the silver blues of plowed mounds, and the bright orange of the truck, set against a textured pattern left by its wheels on the road.
Subtle touches — like the truck appearing to float along in a world that's snowy above and beneath, and the break from gender bias that we get when a woman backhoe driver comes along — make this book the kind you want to save for your grandchildren and their children, too. The age designation is "preschool and up," which we choose to believe includes little kids, big kids, and grown kids.