Every Christmas I find that I am affected by a picture book that is intended for children that has a beautiful message at the heart of it. This year, despite the oddness, is no different. This year it is Maggie O’Farrell and Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini’s book, Where Snow Angels Go, published by Walker Books. With wonderous illustration and a magical story tale that encourages the mind to meander, this is the perfect book to lift anyone’s spirits in what has proven to be a challenging year.
Maggie O’Farrell is known mostly for her contemporary fiction, with much acclaim for novels such as This Must Be The Place, The Hand That First Held Mine and her most recent dive into historical fiction, Hamnet, which has won copious awards throughout the course of 2020. She also wrote memoir, I Am I Am I Am, which was nominated for several awards. And now she has delved into writing children’s tales, what more can we expect from Maggie?
Intended for readers of five and over this Winter tale questions what happens to snow angels after we create them in the crunchy luminous white depths of snow. The storyteller O’Farrell has culminated an extraordinary yet modern fairy tale about the bravery of a little girl who finds herself having more mishaps than most and her desire for everyone she knows to have their very own snow angel.
Sylvie wakes one night, suddenly, without knowing why. Then she sees the most spectacular sight – a pair of wings, enormous in size, made of the softest snow-white feathers imaginable. This snow angel insists she will forget his appearance but we soon realise that this is not going to happen anytime soon as she tries to coax him back by putting herself in countless formidable scenarios. Through this and actual adversity she explores more about the reason behind the snow angel, the central reason for existence and core purpose, and this is not all down to science, as she questions. This tale is not without a touch of magic.
At times the story seems beyond its years, and the illustration has a timeless beauty to it that will render this book one that many will go back to many Winters over. Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini captures the essence of the story with her haunting and yet traditionally classic illustration, creating a beautiful book for anyone fortunate enough to receive or purchase this hardback.
Images courtesy of Walker Books, who have published Where Snow Angels Go by Maggie O’Farrell and Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini
Where Snow Angels Go is out now published by Walker Books