Wordless Picture Books

01_SnowmanCoverLast class we shared each group’s narrative as we looked through The Arrival together. It provided a perfect illustration of how wordless picture books call for “readers” to complete the text in a very different way than written texts do. I’d like to continue this process here, first by reading a brief article entitled “How To Read a Wordless Book.” The purpose of the article is to provide suggestions on “reading” wordless books with and to children, a proven literacy-building process that involves two or more participants in shared interpretation and inquiry.

After you have read the above article, TAKE SOME TIME to read this pdf version of The Snowman, the book Shaun Tan says most influenced his approach to creating The Arrival.

ASSIGNMENT: Due by 9 PM Monday, April 15th

  • COMMENTS WILL NOT APPEAR UNTIL ALL COMMENTS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED.
  • Two facing pages, for the purpose of counting, will equal “one page.”
  • Choose any three page sequence (meaning: six consecutive single pages) from the book and write a corresponding narrative for those pages in a comment below. (A single image covering two pages counts as 1/2 page.)
  • Integrate some of the pointers from the article (above) in your approach to writing the narrative.
  • In your narrative, find ways to convey the underlying FEELING and EMOTION the pictures “contain.”
  • Your narrative MUST INCLUDE IMAGINED DIALOGUE exchanged between characters.
  • **Begin your narrative by indicating the opening page number of your chosen sequence (displayed in the upper left hand corner of the browser).
  • Be sure to include your name: FirstName+FirstLetterLastName

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13 Comments

  1. Robyn B.

    (Starting at page 4 1/2)


    A boy coexists peacefully with a curious snowman, an exchange student from the North Pole. The snow man looks around the home, and asks all sorts of questions but mostly: “What’s this?” Excited, the boy rushes over to the nearest foreign invention for the snowman, and teaches him how to turn on the light. Next, the boy explains the workings of the kitchen sink. When they get to the stove however, the snowman is blown back and understandably frightened by the heat. The snowman squirts soap, plays with paper towels, inspects icecubes and even discovers a fun light in a cupboard.

    

When they run out of things to play with downstairs, the boy leads him up to the room where his parents are sleeping. There are lots of strange and neat inventions up there. “But you have to be quiet!” The boy instructs, and the snowman nods in understanding. They find all sorts of silly things, including a pair of dentures on the bedside table and a dressy photo of the boy. “I want to look like this,” The snowman whispers. “You’re too big for my clothes, so you’ll have to wear my dad’s.” The boy whispers back. Dress-up is fun, but just like playing in the kitchen, the two soon quickly grow bored. 

“This way.” The boy whispers again, this time pointing towards the open door to his bedroom. This time, he shows him his bright yellow skateboard. The snowman is pleased with the boy’s tricks and watches him with glee. “My turn, my turn!” Excited, the snowman settles himself onto the board, with his friend holding him steady by the hand. It’s not as easy as the boy made it look, he finds, when he slips off and bumps his head.



    “We’ll try something else!” The boy says hopefully while checking on his pal. After helping him up, he moves to the next curious item. “This is a punching bag. It works like this!” Drawing his hand back, the boy punches the bag as hard as he can in an attempt to impress his friend. “I can do that!” The snowman boasts, reeling his own fist back and knocking the red bag back farther than it’s ever been knocked back before. This means it comes back harder, too. “Ouch!” The snowman proclaimed, sighing in defeat. “Don’t worry! I have a fun idea that’s cool *and* safe.”

    

Finally, the boy introduces his friend to flashlights. They play around and shine it at one another for a few minutes, until they both have a brilliant idea. “A flashlight-balloon party!” They exclaim, before blowing up all the balloons in the house and watching the silhouettes of the floating objects cast themselves onto the surrounding walls, overjoyed.

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  2. Pages 6-8 Mariely
    Letting the snowman into his kitchen, the little boy was excited to show his new friend around his home. The snowman looked around the small kitchen curiously as he sees things placed on shelves that he has never seen before.

    Boy: “See this?” He says as he points to the light switch on the wall. “This is a light switch. It turns the light on and off.” He finishes explaining as he switches the light switch turning the lights off.

    The little boy then steps away from the light switch, allowing the snowman to switch on and off the lights in the kitchen – which the snowman does happily.

    Boy: “Then this over here-” the little boy moves over to the sink as the snowman followed behind. “-is the sink. If you turn this on, water comes out.” He demonstrated to the snowman as he turned the faucet lever that let out cold water.

    Snowman: “Like this?” He asked as he turned the faucet lever from the opposite side, only to step away quickly as he felt the smoke from the hot water.

    The tour of the kitchen had continued on with the boy showing and explaining how things worked, while the snowman tried to use them. The stove – which the little boy had to save him from, the dish soap – which he learned how to clean with a roll of paper towels, ice cubes – his new favorite snacks, and the refrigerator – which he deemed his favorite item in the house.

    Once the tour of the kitchen was done the little boy decided to show the snowman a tour of upstairs. They quietly crept up the stairs, not wanting to make a lot of noise and into the parents’ room. The boy signaled to the snowman to stay quiet while they were in there. The boy walked further into the room only to be stopped by his parent’s dresser as the snowman had noticed some dentures in a cup of water and then a framed picture of the little boy. The snowman then began to open a few drawers and tried on a few of the fathers clothing, enjoying his new outfit. It wasn’t long before the little boy decided to move on to a different part of the house.

    Once out of his parents’ room, the little boy led the snowman down the hall and into a different room which happened to be the play room. In the play room the little boy tried to teach the snowman how to skateboard, which ended with the snowman falling. Then the little boy tried to teach him how to box, only that too didn’t end well for his friend. Realizing that most of the toys in the room could only end with the snowman getting hurt, he finally decided on using a flashlight that was left in the room and a bunch of colorful balloons, resulting in their very own balloon party.

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  3. Jackson Gerard Carleson
    Snowman
    I woke up early in the morning and a softer light than I’m used to hit the backs of my eyes. I threw myself from the bed as soon as I saw the first snowflakes hit the panes of my window. I changed into my winter clothes as fast as possible and rushed outside as soon as I told my mother my winter day plans. (Page 1)
    As the snow continued to fall from the sky I once again took up my seasonal craft. This year’s snowman will be perfect, the greatest most lifelike snowman the whole town’s ever seen! I perfected his proportions, picked out the panacea of panama, and draped the best scarf in the house gently around his shoulders. Finally, after a long day’s work, I made the perfect snowman. (page 2 and 3)
    When the sun set that night and my mother and father settled me into my evening routines I couldn’t stop thinking about how lonely that snowman must be. The faint glow of the TV illuminated the bright white snow from inside the house and on the edge of the glow I saw the snowman standing silent and solitary, and as I laid in bed my thoughts tossed and turned towards visions of my friend outside all alone. Suddenly, I heard a tapping on my window. I threw on my robe, rushed downstairs, and when I threw open the door to the outside, there he stood. My snowman, illuminated by the soft glow of the hearth. I quickly brought him inside and pulled him away from the fire so that he wouldn’t melt and upset me, my mother, and the cat. (page 4, 5, and 6)

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  4. (Pg. 4 – 15)

    Hannah W.

    Mr. and Mrs. Jones were content and cozy on their couch watching TV on a cold winter’s night, but little Johnny was distracted. He couldn’t stop looking out the window into the snowy night, staring at the snowman he had built earlier that day. He was so proud of his snowman, and he looked so real! He couldn’t help but think his snowman might just come to life, so he had to keep watch or else he might miss it.

    He looked out at the snowman every chance he got: while he brushed his teeth, while he got dressed for bed, even when his mother told him to step away from the window and get some sleep. As soon as she left the room, Johnny sprung out of bed and looked again. Nothing. Disappointed, Johnny got back in bed. As soon as he was about to go to sleep, he sprung up again, threw on his coat, and marched down the stairs to the front door. “I know he is real” Johnny said to himself. He took a deep breath, slowly opened the door, and ….

    There was his snowman, facing him with a grin, holding his top hat in salute to little Johnny. “Why hello there!” the Snowman beamed, “I’m Mr. Snow! What’s your name?” “My name’s Johnny, I live here!” Johnny said as he smiled in amazement. Mr. Snow walked over to Johnny and shook his hand. “Nice to meet you Johnny!” Johnny was so happy Mr. Snow was alive, and wanted to show him around his house, but knew he had to be sneaky. “My parents are sleeping, Mr. Snow, so we have to be quiet or else they will wake up and make you leave.” “We don’t want that!” said Mr. Snow. And with that, the two new friends walked into the house.

    “This is my living room!” said Johnny with his arms open wide. “And this is Roxy my cat! You can pet her if you’d like.” Mr. Snow smiled and bent down to the cat’s level. Just as he was about to pet her, he yelled “ouch!” Johnny thought Roxy may have scratched Mr. Snow but then he saw that it was the hot fire from the fireplace that was hurting his new friend. They made sure to stay away from there the rest of the night.

    Mr. Snow didn’t seem to know much about regular things, or anything at all. “It must be because he just came to life” Johnny thought to himself. He showed Mr. Snow the TV, how to turn on his mother’s favorite lamp, and even the old painting of flowers on the wall. “I’ve never seen flowers before,” Mr. Snow said sadly. To cheer him up, Johnny quickly said “You will love this room, come with me!”

    They stepped in to a big kitchen, another thing Mr. Snow had never seen before! Johnny showed him how to flip on the light switch, turn on the sink (to cold!), and to steer clear of the hot stovetop. “Be careful with that!” Johnny nervously whispered to Mr. Snow, as he made a mess with the dish soap and paper towels. They had to make sure not to wake up his parents!

    Johnny’s stomach growled, and he suddenly wanted a snack. But all they had was warm soup from supper, and Mr. Snow couldn’t eat that or he would melt! So, little Johnny took out the tray of ice cubes for them both to share. “Delicious!” exclaimed Mr. Snow. Mr. Snow loved ice cubes almost as much as he loved sitting by the cold fridge.

    Johnny knew he couldn’t wake up his parents, but he did really want his new friend to see the whole house. He would just have to be very sneaky! The two went upstairs and into Mr. and Mrs. Jone’s room, as they snoozed away. “These are my parents, Mr. Snow!” Johnny whispered as he showed him around the room. “And this is you!” smiled Mr. Snow, pointing as a framed photo of little Johnny. Johnny knew Mr. Snow had probably never worn real clothes before, so he dug through his father’s drawers to let him try them on. “Wow they fit great!” both of them whispered. But there was so much more to see tonight, so they put the clothes back and tip-toed out of the room down the hall.

    Johnny was really excited about this room; his playroom! He showed Mr. Snow his new skateboard and let him give it a try. Mr. Snow lost his balance and fell down, but Johnny assured him that everyone does that on their first try. He showed him his cool punching bag stand, and let him give that a try too. Mr. Snow punched too hard, and it came back and hit him right in the face! “It’s okay,” Johnny said patting him on the back, “this one takes practice too.” The flashlight was more fun to play with anyway.

    Now, the two made their way back downstairs, and opened a new door. “This is our car!” Johnny said proudly. “Wow!” said Mr. Snow. They hopped in, and Johnny let Mr. Snow take driver’s seat; his parents told him he wasn’t old enough to sit there yet. They laughed, pretending that they were driving down a busy street, and turned the high beams on for full effect.

    “I think you’re really gonna like this Mr. Snow!” Johnny said as they got out of the car. He walked over to a big white box, and then opened it up. “What is it?” asked Mr. Snow. “It’s our freezer! It’s like the fridge, but even colder!” Mr. Snow liked the sound of that, and hopped right in. Johnny was right; Mr. Snow loved the freezer.

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  5. Page 2 Carly

    Jack rolled the snowball across his yard, making it bigger and bigger. He got his dad’s shovel and starting making a snowman. The snow was coming down really hard so Jack decided to take a quick hot chocolate break. Warmed up and refreshed, Jack set back outside and made the snow pile as big as him. Once he got the snowball on top for the head, he realized he needed to dress the snowman. Jack asked his mother, “Can I borrow your old scarf, hat, and a tomato that I won’t eat anyways?”. “Sure, as long as you bring it back”, she said. Jack gathered some rocks to make buttons and eyes on the snowman. There was only one more thing missing on the snowman. Jack used his finger to draw a smile. By the time he finished his creation, it was getting late and it was time to go back inside. Jack was so proud of his snowman that he couldn’t stop gazing at it through the window. He couldn’t wait to go back outside in the morning! However, morning did not come soon enough. In the middle of the night, Jack crept downstairs in his robe and went outside. The snowman was there to greet him and he shook Jack’s hand. “Thank you for bringing me back to life! My name is Frosty! What’s your name?”, said the snowman. With great excitement, Jack responded, “My name is Jack! Want to come inside and play with me?”. “Sure!” said Frosty. Inside, they warmed up by the fire but it was too hot for Frosty. Jack brought Frosty over to a lamp to warm up instead. That was still too hot so Frosty took his hat off.

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  6. Haadiyah Shakur
    I chose to write a story about the young boy and the snowman from pages 1-4. To me, pages 1-4 told the story of a very poor family. There is no father figure because he died before the kids were born. The mom works everyday at a below minimum wage job. Each day the son watches the mother grow more, and more exhausted. Christmas time is right around the corner, and the poor boy wants nothing more than a Merry Christmas. As hope grows weary the small boy decides to make a snowman in memory of his father. He whispers to himself, please come back dad, mom needs you. The next morning in the yard alive to the boys shock is the snowman.

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  7. Garret went to bed wishing for the first snowfall of winter. When he woke up, he was excited to see that there was snow everywhere.
    “Can I please play outside, Mom?” he begged.
    When she agreed, he got dressed in the warmest clothes he could find: a sweater, pants, boots, and a winter hat. He headed outside and in search for the best spot. When he finds it, he starts to build a snowman. He gets cold, so he takes a quick break for hot chocolate and heads back outside. He begins to build then body and then adds on the head. He looks up at his big masterpieces but isn’t content. He runs inside and asks his mother for some accessories.
    “I need something to make him look alive. He looks boring with no clothes!!” he tells his mom. She grabs what she can find and hands him the items.
    He goes outside and adds on the hat and the scarf but still, the snowman, doesn’t feel complete. He begins to run around, scavenging anything he can gets his hands on. He finds an orange for his nose and pieces of coal for eyes and buttons. When complete, he looks up in awe of the giant creation.
    Soon, he needs to come inside because it is getting dark out. He sits inside where him, his mother, and his father watch a TV show. He periodically checks up on the snowman, making sure he hasn’t melted yet. Up until the time Garret goes to bed, he keeps an eye out for the snowman. He falls asleep peacefully, but suddenly is woken up.
    He jumps out of bed and runs to his window. To his pleasure, the snowman is still there. He lays back in bed but his thoughts run wild through his head. He can’t take it anymore, throws up a blanket, and goes downstairs. He opens his front door and sees the snowman greeting him, so he decides to greet him back and invite him inside. The snowman walks over to Garret and shakes his hand.
    “Hi! You can come inside but you have to be quiet.” He whispers while pressing his finger to your lips. He shows him around his house and even lets him pet the family cat. He brings him over to the warm fire but forgot he was snow! The snowman runs away in fear, scared of melting away.
    Sam

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  8. The Snowman.
    Page 1.

    Young Charlie wakes up and thinks about having to get ready for school, as he gets ready his mom informs him that it is a snow day. He jumps with excitement with a smile from ear to ear. Charlie quickly puts on his boots and jacket and runs outside to play. He starts off by building the body and base of the snowman but soon gets chilly and decides its time to go warm up. While inside he enjoys a nice cup of hot chocolate with his mom. He tells her he is having the perfect day and is filled with joy. He’s soon to be right back outside working on the snowman. He constructs a head and decides its time to dress the snowman. Throwing his mothers scarf on the snowman followed by his hat. Charlie then finds some pebbles and sticks to construct the snow mans face.
    As the day comes to an end, Charlie heads back inside to take a bath and get ready for bed. Before bed he peers out his window at the snowman and decides to go back downstairs for a better look. When he is peering out the window he feels sad and upset that his snowman is out there, Charlie wants to be out there with him laughing and having fun. Charlie then opens the door and finds the snowman was turned around and now looking at Charlie, at first he is in shock and scared but very quickly invites the snowman inside. He directs the Snowman inside and Charlie decides to hang out with him, he shows the snowman the living room and the fireplace, Charlie didn’t realize that the snowman shouldn’t be near the fireplace so they quickly leave the surrounding area.

    Alex. N

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  9. Mairi M.
    (Pages 5-7)
    Henry’s new companion, a mighty snowman, approached the front door as the boy welcomed him into his home. They shook hands, and the snowman heeded the boy’s warning to stay quiet while his parents were asleep. After the door was closed, Henry proudly presented his living room, along with its fireplace ablaze with life. Then, they explored the television, the snowman amazed at the moving pictures it emitted. They played with a lamp after that, switching it on and off, and then, they ventured into the kitchen.
    There, Henry introduced numerous gadgets and things, such as the light switch, which they flicked on and off. Then it was the sink, and then the stove, which began to sizzle with heat as it turned on. There was a can of an unknown substance, which exploded with blue when it was squeezed, and the paper towels? The poor paper towel roll was unraveled into a long trail, and the paper towels were then wasted. The ice cubes became the snowman’s favorite snack after that, and then, of course, he basked in the light of the refrigerator. What shenanigans he and Henry were up to!
    But their adventure didn’t end there. They daringly, however quietly, sneaked up the stairs… and into Henry’s parent’s bedroom.
    “This is my mom and dad’s room, but remember, we gotta be extra quiet. I’ll be in a lot of trouble if they wake up,” Henry whispered, carefully pushing open the door.
    “Not a problem, my young sir,” the snowman quietly bowed his head upon entering the room, “but what are we doing in here?”
    Henry was silent until he approached a side table beside his mother. “These are my mom’s dentures,” he pointed to a set of fake teeth resting in a glass of water, “they’re fake teeth that people wear when they don’t have any teeth.”
    The snowman gasped softly in awe, only for his moment of amazement to be interrupted a second later.
    “This, over here,” Henry ran over to his father’s bedside table, “this is a picture of my dad when he was little. He looks just like me, right?”
    The snowman tiptoed over to the picture and gasped again, this time pointing at it as he made the connection. “He DOES!” He enthusiastically agreed, still through a whisper, “the hair, the eyes… you two could’ve been twins, gosh golly.”
    “Yeah, pretty neat, right?” Henry chuckled, walking over to his parent’s bureau, “and his is where they keep all their clothes. Sometimes, I like to pretend I’m a grown-up, so I dress in dad’s clothes and act like I’m off to work.”
    The snowman stepped over to the dresser and took a peek into one of the drawers Henry opened. “That sounds like a lot of fun,” he snickered, “maybe I could try.” He then pulled out an orange tie, properly tying it around his neck, and then he put on a pair of blue glasses that was resting on top of the bureau. There was a wide-brimmed hat sitting beside them, and he replaced his own top hat with that one.
    “Woah, I had no idea you knew how to tie a tie! I can’t even do that!” Henry gasped in amazement, still whispering of course.
    “I had no idea I could do that either. I didn’t even know I knew how to talk, or do a lot of other things…” the snowman admitted with a slight chuckle, “but I guess it just comes with…” he stepped into a pair of pants, grunting with slight struggle, “being an adult, of course.” The snowman then stood proudly in his “work” outfit, suspenders and all, even posing in front of the nearby mirror, and Henry cheered for him noiselessly off to the side.
    “You look like an actual adult!” He commented, marveling at the outfit, “where do you work?”
    “Hm… I work in for the North Pole Newspaper,” he decided with a bit of pride, “as the boss of my own establishment.”
    “Woooow, that’s crazy…” Henry giggled, “but I think we ought to put that stuff back before one of my parents wakes up. Besides, there’s something else I wanna show you.”
    “Ah,” the snowman murmured, stepping out of his pants and setting the glasses back on the top of the bureau, “well in that case, I should hurry.” He untied his tie and neatly put it back in its place, along with the folded pair of pants. After putting the hat back on top of the bureau and closing the drawers, he tiptoed along with Henry to the doorway.
    “You’re a really good grown-up,” Henry commented with another giggle as he stepped out into the hallway, “a little too good. Are you an actual grown-up?”
    “I sure look like it, don’t I?” The snowman laughed quietly, “but I am whatever age you want me to be.I could just be a big kid… I do play like one. Or, maybe I am a grown-up… the decision is yours, dear Henry. That’s the fun in having a friend like me.”

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  10. It was early in the morning on the first day of winter and the boy woke up with excitement. He said, “It’s snowing! It’s snowing!” The boy quickly got out of his bed and changed to his winter clothes and went downstairs to tell his mother that it was snowing outside. The boy went to his mother and asked if he could play outside, the mother said “Yes, go ahead. Make sure to stay close so I can see you.” He sat down and put on his snow boots, runs outside while putting his hat on, then he continues to eagerly run and drop his winter hat. The boy picks up a snowball and rolls it on the ground in his backyard. He piles up a lot of snow to make it bigger and bigger. His mother calls him back in the house to have some hot chocolate. The mother and the boy were sitting at the table having their warm beverage and having a conversation. After, the boy went back outside to finish making his snowman. He puts the snowman’s head on and takes a step back to look at what he needs next to finish up. He runs back in the house and asked his mother, “Do you have a scarf that I can barrow for my snowman?” His mother said, “Yes, this hat and scarf would look nice on your snowman.” “Thank you mom!”, said the little boy. He goes back outside and puts on the green scarf on the snowman. Then he puts on a green hat on the snowman’s head and said, “Yes! It looks good so far! Now what else do I need?” The boy thought of using a vegetable for the snowman’s nose. He goes inside the house into the kitchen to grab a tomato for the snowman’s nose. He goes back outside to put the snowman’s nose on and grabs pebbles and rocks for his eyes, mouth, and buttons. The boy puts them on and he is finally finish making his snowman. He said, “This is the best snowman that I ever made!” The mother calls him back inside to watch a Christmas movie. The family were together in their warm house having a great time and laughing at funny moments. The boy looks outside from the window to see if the snowman is still in good condition. He just wanted to make sure that nothing bad happens to his snowman. After family night was over, he gets ready to go to bed and he says, “Can’t wait to see you again tomorrow! It is going to be a great day!” He finally says goodnight to his family and goes to sleep.

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  11. Michael P: Pages 5-7
    Page 5
    Elfred the Snowman walks up to the house, where Kevin is waiting to greet him.
    “How do you do, my name is Elfred the Snowman, may I come in?”
    “Nice to meet you Elfred, My name is Kevin please come in!”
    Entering the Living Room, Kevin shows Elfred around and shows him all the great things that come with living inside!
    “This is my pet cat Whiskers, and over here we have our fireplace!” says Kevin
    “Fireplace? I can’t go near that!”
    As Kevin sets the flame alight, Elfred must turn away! “The flame is too hot for me!” says Elfred
    Apologizing, Kevin takes Elfred around the house showing him all of the fascinating things.
    “This is the television, we use it for fun! It is my favorite part of the house!” “And this is the lamp, it is also used for light just like the fireplace, but this one won’t hurt ya! Go ahead, give it a try!”
    Elfred placed his hand on the button, illuminating the bright bulb inside the lamp!
    After this, Kevin leads Elfred upstairs into the kitchen.

    Page 6
    “This is our Kitchen! Here, take a look, you can change the light switch just like the lamp!” says Kevin.
    Flicking it on and off, Elfred is in awe of the light switch above his head doing the same thing as the lamp!
    ” This is great Kevin, show me more amazing things about being indoors!”
    “Over here is the sink” says Kevin, walking over towards it, he turns the knob of the hot water and oh no! “Kevin this is too hot!” as he is nearly blasted away by the steam.
    They then walk over to the stove, where Kevin also turns on the burner and the heat nearly burns Elfred again!
    Walking over to the counter, they look at a container of Kevin’s favorite juice, “Be careful Elfred, you might spill it!” says Kevin
    Not taking his warning, Elfred sprays the juice all over his hands, and gets his hands all sticky.
    “Over here, use these to clean your hands!” says Kevin.
    As Elfred cleans up his hands, Kevin walks over to him with a tray full of ice cubes, “What are those Kevin?”
    “These are ice cubes, I have a feeling you will like these they are really cold!”.
    As he snacks on an ice cube, Elfred asks, “These are delicious! Where did you get these?”.
    Kevin takes Elfred over to the freezer, showing him where the ice cubes came from.
    “Kevin this is wonderful! It feels just like my home outside except on the inside!”

    Page 7
    “Okay Elfred, Lets go upstairs, but we have to be really quiet!” says Kevin.
    Walking into Kevin’s parents room, Elfred looks around quietly at the dentures for Kevin’s dad, and sees that a picture of Kevin’s dad matches the person in the bed!
    Kevin sees that Elfred has discovered his Dad’s clothes, and Elfred has begun to try on his tie, glasses, hat and pants!
    Kevin quietly gives him a thumbs up of approval, and motions to go back downstairs.

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  12. Alex Thompson
    “The Snowman”
    I grasped the small ball of snow in my mittens, I could already see my snowman forming in my mind. I started to roll it around in the snow, making it bigger with every foot. Soon I was huffing hot clouds of mist and grabbed my shovel. I started building the snowman up, packing in the snow as I went. I had just risen the torso up to the precise height I wanted it when my mom called me in for lunch.
    “How is your snowman coming along?” she asked as I took my first sip of cocoa.
    “Great! I’ve already finished the hardest part!”
    “That’s great sweetheart!”
    After I scarfed down my lunch as fast as I could, I threw on my coat and ran back out to continue working on my creation. I formed the shoulders and rolled another ball for the head. I heaved it up and patted it down to keep it steady. After I shaped the arms, I knew it was time for the finishing touches, so I ran back inside.
    “Mom!” I called out to the house, “Can I have a scarf and a hat for my snowman?”
    “Yes, but remember to bring them back inside later!” she called to me from upstairs.
    I snatched them off the coat hanger and ran back out to adorn my snowman. I stepped back and realized something was missing, and ran back inside.
    “Can I use a tomato and some coal?”
    “Sure, just be careful you don’t get black dust all over yourself!”
    With the additional decorations, I returned outside. I placed the tomato over his face and the coal over his eyes and down his chest. Then I gingerly dragged my finger across his face to make a smile, and stepped back to admire my work.
    I decided it was a job well done and retreated back inside for a night filled with classic Christmas movies and lots of hot chocolate. My mother sent me upstairs for my bedtime and I brushed my teeth, and before I laid down, I looked outside to check on my snowman. He still stood with his accessories in place despite the winter winds making snowdrifts in the yard. Confident in my success, I laid under the covers and my mom kissed me goodnight before I drifted into dreams of a white Christmas morning. The next morning, I woke up and went straight over to the window. My snowman still stood but there was something off about him, so I put on my robe and boots and went to investigate. Upon reaching the backdoor I opened it, and as it creaked open the snowman turned around to see what made the noise. Shocked I stood still waiting for it to say something. The line of his mouth shifted into a smile and he greeted me with a flourish of his hat, and he began to walk towards the house.
    “How are you doing that?” I asked, to no reply, simply a happy shrug from the snowman as he shook my hand. He didn’t seem malevolent so I invited him in. I showed him around the house, all our books and rooms, and our living room with our fireplace. He kept his distance from the radiating warmth from the hearth, but seemed to enjoy everything else, especially the antique lamp which he enjoyed turning off and on. We went upstairs and I led him along the hall towards my bedroom.

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  13. This story reminds me of Calvin and Hobbes, using childlike imagination to make sense of an inanimate object becoming animated.

    Pages 4-9

    After a long day of playing in the snow, Ferris reflects on his accomplishment of making a snowman outside. He even gave him a name, Bueller. Ferris had been playing with Bueller all day, and was sad knowing that the day was over. When his mom tucks him in, Ferris asks, “Do you think school will be cancelled tomorrow?” his mom answers, “probably not, the roads are pretty much cleared up, now get some rest.” But Ferris couldn’t rest, as his childlike imagination was going crazy after a day of fun in the snow. After a few minutes he hears shuffling outside in the direction of his snowman. So, Ferris got on his coat to check outside for what was going on. Opening the door, he finds Bueller turned around. Bueller says, “I hope you’re having a good evening,” before Ferris gives him a handshake and lets him into the house. Ferris says, “you have to be really quiet, ok? My parents are sleeping right now and if they catch us we’ll be in big trouble.” Ferris goes on to introduce Bueller to the house, pointing out the design, the bookshelves, the cat, and the fireplace, which Bueller didn’t like all too much. All of what was being shown to Bueller was foreign to him, such as the brightness of a television and the basic power of a lamp to light up a room. Knowing Bueller will get a kick out of it, Ferris leads him into the kitchen. They play with the sink, but not before Bueller plays with the lights yet again. Playing with the stove proved to not be the best idea, what with Bueller being made of snow. After throwing around paper towels, Bueller gets hungry. He says, “Do you have any ice? That is my favorite food of all time.” Perplexed, Ferris pulls an ice tray from the freezer. Chewing on ice, Ferris doesn’t really get the appeal, but is just happy that Bueller enjoys it so much.

    Drew Ellison

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