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The Snowman: Inspired by the original story by Raymond Briggs

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A lovely festive read that I would recommend to children of all ages that carries all of the magic of the original story and more. I believe Raymond Briggs used to this tactic to make sure everyone from all ages both young and old can appreciate it and discover that you do not need words to tell a story. So when I heard that Michael Morpurgo was writing a novella based on the original book of The Snowman I was super intrigued and knew I had to get my hands on a copy! His final book, Time for Lights Out, in which Raymond contemplates old age and death, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2019 to critical acclaim.

The Snowman: Inspired by the original story by Raymond Briggs

His best-known work, War Horse, was adapted into a multi-Oscar-nominated film by Steven Spielberg and into a widely acclaimed play. Mi s-a părut minunat stilul autorului și m-a ajutat să călătoresc în timp și să plutesc printre fulgii de nea alături de omul de zăpadă. I should not have been worried, Michael Morpurgo has never disappointed before and he did not this time. The tale is beautifully illustrated, and it shares elements of the original tale (the party with the other snowmen, and meeting Father Christmas, for example). The illustrations are so beautiful and convey the sense of wonder and adventure between the two perfectly, seeing them flying over Brighton's Royal Pavilion is just stunning.

And while I personally have never been all that much bothered regarding the ending of The Snowman, I can certainly see how a very sensitive child might indeed be negatively affected and much saddened by the snowman in effect dying, by him just melting away and the little boy being heartbroken (therefore parents, caregivers etc. Thank you, Sir Michael, for agreeing to the tough challenge of writing a novella based on this picture-story.

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Using some inspiration from the Channel 4 movie, and adding some bits and pieces from his own creative mind, we have a wonderful story, both familiar and with some new bits. But that all being said, The Snowman is still a clever and generally enchanting enough tale, and one that could perhaps also be a fun and usuable tool for individual storytelling, discussions and the like (for example, in a first, second or third grade language arts classroom, teachers might consider using the illustrations for writing assignments, even for oral presentations). Aici regasim povestea baietelului James care isi dorea ca de Craciun sa ninga si sa primeasca o bicicleta de la Mosu. He spends the whole day making his perfect snowman; he has coal eyes, an old green hat and scarf and a tangerine nose.Ringrazio con tutto il cuore la Rizzoli per aver permesso anche a me di immergermi in questa storia, una storia che ha trovato come punto di ispirazione la storia originale di Raymond Briggs. I love the sense of joy and wonder that glows from the page, first with the boy's creativity in building his snowman and then the shared delight as the boy and the snowman each discover the "magic" in one another's worlds. The artwork is just lovely, capturing the warmth of the boy's home, and the chilly fun of the outdoor world perfectly. The Snowman is built by James, who lives on a farm in Devon who is able to find his voice and confidence through his snowy friend who takes him on an adventure on Christmas Eve. At the end of the story, there was a section about Christmas traditions around the world as well as the art of snowman building.

The Snowman: Inspired by the Original Story by Raymond Briggs

The Snowman in question is a story book, pictures without words by Raymond Briggs, another book for children and those who love children. It's a very easily-pictured set of scenes and will most certainly bring a little magical feeling to the season when it arrives. Plus, having James’s grandma involved in the story made the ending less bittersweet compared to the original.This book was turned into a two-handed radio play with Peter Sallis in the male lead role, and subsequently an animated film, featuring John Mills and Peggy Ashcroft.

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