Frog, Bee and Snail Look for Snow

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Loek Koopmans
Floris Books
Apr 2006
A disconcerting sense of insularity and introspection accompanies the statistic that only three percent of books published in the UK are translations. It is heartening therefore that publishers such as WingedChariot Press and Floris Books are making available in the English language a range of European picture books. Dutch author and illustrator Loek Koopmans� book �Frog, Bee and Snail Look for Snow� is the latest addition to the list of translations from Floris Books.

Just as Kenneth Grahame�s opening to the �The Wind in the Willows� with mole scraping, scratching, scrabbling and scrooging, �muttering to himself, �Up we go! Up we go!� till at last, pop! his snout came out into the sunlight�� marvellously evokes the long awaited onset of spring, Koopman�s use of intensely bright light in the forest, the vivid fresh greens of the foliage and the irreverent chattering of little bird brilliantly capture that first sense that spring has sprung.

Amongst his chatterings, bird mentions to snail the snows that fell in winter, their depth, their whiteness and cold. Entranced by this description, snail asks his friend bee about snow, but bee has spent the winter in her hive so snow is unfamiliar to her also. Through a series of exchanges, snail, bee and frog � traversing at once between them dominions of land, sky and earth are unable to find out about snow. So begins an adventure, an epic animal voyage in a quest for knowledge� Moving through the seasons from spring to summer, to autumn, the trio remain still unable to find out about snow, exhausted by their efforts they fall asleep only to awake to an unknown world in white�

Koopmans illustrations of nature are wonderfully rendered and are brilliantly accurate. His use of lighting brings each spread to life helping to create a beautiful book with an unexpected, yet a holistic ending.

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This page contains a single entry by Jacob published on March 29, 2006 2:40 PM.

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