Friday, January 22, 2016

PPBF: The Biggest, Best Snowman

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

The Biggest, Best Snowman,
by Margie Cuyler and Will Hillenbrand
The Biggest, Best Snowman
Written by Margery Cuyler
Illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
Scholastic, 1998
Age 4-8, ATOS level 3.6

winter, individuality


Little Nell lived with BIG Mama, BIG Sarah, and BIG Lizzie in a BIG house in a BIG snowy woods.

Little Nell lives with her BIG family. They tell her she is too small to help, too small to do anything. So Nell escapes to the BIG woods to get some perspective. Her animals friends persuade her that she is too big enough to build a snowman, a really, really big snowman. She teaches them how to roll the snowballs just right, how to build a snowman, and how to decorate him. Nell proves to her family that she is both clever and capable, even if she is small. 

What I Love:
Margie Cuyler uses the common childhood experience of being left out as the basis for this simple story. The stunning pictures are full of life and color (despite all the snow.) And illustrator Will Hillenbrand throws in a few surprises too. (Look carefully at the tracks the animals make in the snow.)


One blogger thought this mom had too much time
 on her hands. Sorry, I disagree. These are adorable! 
1.Margie Cuyler talks about her love of picture books and why they're important on WritingForKidsWhileRaisingThem.
2. You'll find teacher resources on the University of Arkansas at Little Rock site
and more worksheets and ideas on The Picture Book Teacher
3. Create a healthy snowman snack with cheese sticks from  ihow.
4. Try Tic Tac Snow and other fun activities suggested by Parents Magazine.
5. Live in a sunny climate? Make your own play snow with this recipe from Momma's Fun World.
6. Parenting Chaos recommends additional children's books about snowmen.
7. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Joanna
Reviewed by Patricia

Reviewed by Katie
Reviewed by Joanne

Reviewed by GradeOnederful

Reviewed by Catherine

Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for January 22, 2016 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.


  1. I love to cheer when someone succeeds beyond expectations after being told they are too small or too young to do something. I'm adding this book to my library list.

    1. I love Little Nell -the spunkiness comes through in every illustration! Thanks for your comments!

  2. With today's forecast, I should get this book NOW! Big snowmen will be blossoming. :) Thanks for sharing this book.

    1. That's what I was thinking! Giant snowmen all over!

    2. Well? How much snow did you get? We've only ended up with about 6" but my son has about a foot and my brother is buried under 25"+ in the DC area!

  3. I love this concept. I was the youngest, smallest, and only girl. My brothers thought I couldn't do anything, and I believed them for far too long. Must check this one out from our library. Thanks!

    1. The best kids books show us a little of ourselves. 'Hope you like it!

  4. Such a perfect share today! I love how Nell is so clever and shows her small and big friends how capable she is.
    One of my favorite snow books is Michael Garland's SUPER SNOW DAY!

    1. Thanks. And thanks for the recommendation of Super Snow Day. I hope readers will check out your Perfect Picture Book review here

  5. This is a fun story. I have it in my classroom collection!

    1. I can't remember where I got my copy, but the cover really grabs me. Also the story behind the story hinted at in the acknowledgements. Thanks!


Thank-you for taking time to share your thoughts!