The squirrel does not know snow. He hibernates through the winter. Deer tells Squirrel, "Snow is white and wet and cold and soft."
Now, for someone who knows snow, that is a good description, right? But if you had no frame of reference to know snow... what would you envision?
When I was in design school, we were asked to bring an object to class. Be creative. No parameters, just an object. You couldn't show it to your classmates. You were then set up with a partner, and the assignment was to describe your object. You'd be amazed at how difficult it was to determine the mystery object from vague descriptors. This book made me flash back on that assignment... and smile at the ridiculousness that ensued with the squirrel.
|Waiting for Winter by Sebastian Meschenmoser|
So the three forest animals begin to wonder... what if the first snowflake already fell? What if it is already winter? So they split up in search of the first snowflake. They each return with an object that they think is snow. The result is hilarious.
The illustrations are sketchy, loose pencil drawings with minimal splashes of color in the animals. The animals are drawn with a tremendous amount of character and liveliness. Squirrel practically quivers and shakes off the page with his energy, Hedgehog is a more serious and cuddly character with leaves and a berry sticking in his quills, and Bear has the rumpled, exasperated look of a bear disturbed from his slumber.