Ten Ways to Hear Snow

Ten Ways to Hear SnowWhen you grow up in Min­neso­ta, snow is a part of your world. From play­ing in it until your feet are so cold and wet that your grand­moth­er will scold while you drink hot cocoa to lift­ing your feet high as you trudge through knee-deep snow to a bus stop that’s far­ther away than it has ever been, snow is a fix­ture in your thoughts. 

But ten ways to hear snow? Does­n’t snow fall silent­ly? How does one hear snow?

Cathy Camper knows the answer. All ten of them. And Kenard Pak illus­trates this book with such care that the sounds come alive.

The bare trees are stark against the urban, win­ter land­scape and Pak cap­tures the shad­ows that paint the white, white snow. His snowy land­scapes feel immense yet intimate.

Ten Ways to Hear Snow
illus­tra­tion © Kenard Pak from Ten Ways to Hear Snow by Cathy Camper,
Kok­i­la / Pen­guin Ran­dom House, 2020

Can you imag­ine what the sounds are?

Scraaape, scrip, scraaape, scrip.”

Exact­ly. A shov­el against the side­walk. The author iden­ti­fies sounds that are imme­di­ate­ly famil­iar to chil­dren and adults who know snowfall.

Swish-wish, swish-wish.”

Of course. The wind­shields being swept clear of snow. Snow-time activ­i­ties cre­ate sounds. 

Cathy Camper worked for many years as a K‑12 librar­i­an. She has cre­at­ed an irre­sistible read-aloud. Ten Ways to Hear Snow will encour­age lis­ten­ers to make their own snow sounds, dis­cuss oth­er ways to hear snow, and learn about onomatopoeia.

Lina, the main char­ac­ter, is walk­ing through snow to vis­it her Sit­ti, her grand­moth­er, who lives in an inde­pen­dent liv­ing build­ing. The two are going to stuff grape leaves, an activ­i­ty that’s hard­er for Sit­ti because her sight is fail­ing. Sounds have become very impor­tant to this grand­moth­er and granddaughter.

Camper ded­i­cates this book to her Lebanese fam­i­ly. Words and food are pre­sent­ed with­in the text that will invite fur­ther learn­ing when the book is closed.

It’s a charm­ing book for those who know snow well and those who would like to. The descrip­tive lan­guage and the dig­i­tal paint­ings com­bine to give us a treasure.

High­ly recommended.

Ten Ways to Hear Snow
writ­ten by Cathy Camper
illus­trat­ed by Kenard Pak
Kok­i­la / Pen­guin Ran­dom House, 2020

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Tunie Munson-Benson
3 years ago

What a love­ly and per­sua­sive reveiw, Vic­ki. I’m sold! Order­ing not one but two copies today… one for me, and one for two dear friends, one of the cou­ple with Lebanese roots who still cooks the tra­di­tion­al foods he knew as a child.

3 years ago

I love this book! One thing I real­ly appre­ci­ate is the Mid­west­ern set­ting. I heard Cathy talk­ing about this in an inter­view, how the first illus­tra­tions looked very New England‑y and because of her Wis­con­sin roots she was very inten­tion­al in want­i­ng it to look and feel like the Midwest.