Life of a Southern Mom recently had the pleasure of reviewing the children’s book Snow Pearly White Twirly by Monika Vix. Monika Vix is both an author and composer. In Hamburg, Germany she studied music education and went on to found her own music school for children of all ages. As a result, she is uniquely able to not only write a children’s story, but also to compose children’s songs to accompany the story. This is her first children’s book which has been published in the United States.
The artwork in the book is done by illustrator Volker Lettkemann. He describes his preferred style of art as playful improvisation rather than rigid composition. Some of the pictures make use of empty space rather than drawings to convey an image. In these cases, it is possible for children to color in parts of the drawings themselves. There is also one page in which the sky is not the focus of the image, but which the illustrator has creatively drawn a variation of van Gogh’s Starry Night. The drawings perfectly capture the whimsy and excitement of the adventure throughout the story. To see more of Lettkemann’s work, visit his site here.
This story is about one snow flake’s adventure from her cloud home in the sky, down to earth, and eventually finding her way home back to the cloud castle. Along the way she meets interesting characters such as ice crystals in an ice chest, a nosy fish in the ocean, a wise turtle, a misty drizzle, a stormy wind, and even Santa Claus!
When searching for new and interesting children’s stories, it is always an additional bonus to find an educational component included as part of the story. In addition to being a compelling and beautiful story, Snow Pearly White Twirly also informs children about the water cycle and the properties of water along her adventure. The protagonist starts her life as a snowflake and becomes a water droplet in the ocean. In her quest to return home, she encounters a tiny drizzle in a fog who informs her about the water cycle she can expect to experience, “Snowflake, water drop, water vapor, snowflake, water drop, water vapor, an endless cycle with no escape.” Also mentioned are water features freezing and melting.
Snow Pearly White Twirly is not only a story book, but it is also a musical adventure. There are four songs which are incorporated throughout the story. In the book, each song has lyrics printed so you can sing along. On the facing page, the music is printed so that you can play it yourself, if you wish. Don’t worry if you are musically challenged! The book comes complete with a CD. The CD contains each song both as an instrumental version (sing along like karaoke) and a version with lyrics.
The CD also contains an audio version of the story which can be used to read along with the book. I was very impressed with the quality of the story on the CD. The characters are voiced by different people using different voices and accents. There are background sounds and music. The voice actors speak clearly and use appropriate intonation and expression. I was surprised and also pleased to hear children’s voices in the story and in the songs. My daughter loves listening to children’s voices talking and singing and this story is no exception.
This is the perfect winter holiday gift for children of any age! Because it comes with a CD, children do not need to know how to read (words or music) to be able to enjoy the story and songs of Snow Pearly White Twirly. To get a book with CD visit the website here.
Disclosure: Life of a Southern Mom received one or more products mentioned above for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.