This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Saturday, 24 December 2011

Saturday Rave: The Snowman by Raymond Briggs.

I thought I'd rave about this book today because it's wintry and magical and mysterious.

I've only just remembered, though, on looking through it, that it doesn't have any words at all.

I've only just remembered, too, that it's quite different from the film version. I mean, Howard Blake's wonderful Dance of the Snowmen jig...in the book there aren't any other snowmen.

The story mostly takes place in the little boy's house, too, not Walking in the Air.

So, does it matter that the book has no words?

Of course not. Not at all. You might as well complain that Leonardo da Vinci didn't paint the back-story of the Mona Lisa on those murky hills behind her. (Speaking of paintings, the snowman in the story definitely doesn't like the reproduction of Van Gogh's Sunflowers which is hanging on the wall of the boy's house. Is this because they're sunflowers? Or is there some other reason? Some words would help to explain this, though they would puncture the marvellous stillness and silence of the book and this is why I'm not wishing for them.)

But here we are, at The Word Den's first Christmas Eve, and finally wordless.

Well, it'll give us time to do a bit of thinking, won't it.

Word of the Day: snowman. The Shorter Oxford Dictionary starts its definition of snow as the congealed vapour of the atmosphere...

Perhaps just very occasionally, the best is silence...

The word snow comes from the Old English snāw, and before that from the Gothic word snaiws, and the Greek word nipha.

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