STARRED REVIEW
October 23, 2020

Crow & Snow

By Robert Broder, illustrated by Olivier Tallec
Review by

A friendly scarecrow named Crow stands alone in a field, watching tractors go by and seasons pass. One winter, children build a snowman right next to Crow. After Crow finally says hello, Crow and Snow become friends. “Will you be staying awhile?” asks Crow, but Snow isn’t sure. Sadly, Crow watches Snow slowly melt as the days warm up.

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A friendly scarecrow named Crow stands alone in a field, watching tractors go by and seasons pass. One winter, children build a snowman right next to Crow. After Crow finally says hello, Crow and Snow become friends. “Will you be staying awhile?” asks Crow, but Snow isn’t sure. Sadly, Crow watches Snow slowly melt as the days warm up.

When winter circles back around, Crow is thrilled to see Snow again, though he notices that this time Snow looks “a bit different.” For a second time, Crow has a friend to share his days with. But as winter fades, he must once again say goodbye to Snow. After multiple reunions and goodbyes, Crow is determined to tell Snow how he feels about him, but years pass without the children building another snowman. When “new children” finally appear, Crow gets his chance.

Illustrator Olivier Tallec’s uncluttered spreads in Crow & Snow feature a particularly inviting color palette of cool teals and greens, occasionally offset by warmly colored pink skies. Crow is a remarkably expressive character, particularly for a creature who is half stick, and Tallec has fun with the ways in which Snow’s appearance changes year by year, based on the materials that might be available to resourceful snowman-constructing children.

Author Robert Broder weaves straightforward but touching moments of dialogue into this story of loss and impermanence. “I will miss you,” Crow says as he watches Snow shrink before him. Broder balances these moments with subtle touches of slightly morbid humor, such as Snow’s utter inability to control his appearance—one year, he has a carrot for a nose and the next, a pinecone—and his powerlessness to control his fate when the weather changes. The spreads in which Snow disappears have a deeply felt poignancy, but the way this tender story ends infuses the whole thing with wonderful hopefulness.

This ode to love, and the importance of professing our feelings to those we love, speaks volumes.

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Crow & Snow

Crow & Snow

By Robert Broder, illustrated by Olivier Tallec
Simon & Schuster
ISBN 9781534445956

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