The Snowman

Publisher: Penguin

To mark the 40th anniversary of Raymond Briggs' much-loved picture book, Michael Morpurgo has written a chapter book full of these timeless characters.

Michael Morpurgo's The Snowman is brilliant for slightly older readers but also those who hanker for backstory – after all, the original was wordless. Morpurgo’s version gives more detail to James, the little boy. He has a stutter, which is why he doesn't talk much. Friends have excluded him from things because of this stammer, so he often feels lonely. All of this gives another reading to the tale (if you want one), which only makes the magic feel more special. Morpurgo also fleshes out James’s family – and Grandma, in particular, really livens things up. There are also some modern updates.

However, Morpurgo is careful to hit every familiar beat. There is still spectacular flying, and dancing snowpeople, and Father Christmas to see, and the pulse of the northern lights. The pencil drawings by Robin Shaw are full of character and charm and very much like the original. Everything that makes The Snowman feel wondrous for children, and cosy and nostalgic for parents, is here in this version. But the ending is gentler – with a note of hope for magical times to come.

All in all, a book made for snuggles and wishes.

More books like this

Asking for a Friend

Author: Kate Mallinder

After convincing their parents that a change of scene will help them to focus on exam revision, teenagers Agnes, Hattie and Jacques embark on a week’s study break together. However, they each have a personal reason for wanting to get away. This touching novel is sensitively written and explores a number of issues, such as loneliness, bullying, illness a…

Read more about Asking for a Friend

Splash

Author: Charli Howard

Molly is passionate about swimming but is having to deal with a domineering friend and a difficult home life. A sensitive novel that touches on several issues that may concern pre-adolescents, from anxieties about secondary school to pressures around body image.

Read more about Splash

Share this book with your friends

Use our Bookfinder to discover the perfect children's books for every age...