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Children's Fiction General

Grandpa's Snowman

by (author) Gary Barwin

illustrated by Kitty Macaulay

Annick Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2000
General, Multigenerational
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2000
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2000
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 6
  • Grade: p to 1


Grandpa's Snowman is a playful and touching story about the loving and mischievous bond between a boy and his grandfather.

A young boy practices his violin, then goes to sleep for the night. The next morning he wakes to discover a world of newly fallen snow. He hurries to join his friends playing outside, but his mother reminds him that he must first practice his violin. When she is not looking, he sneaks out the window and, together with his friends, builds a snowman. A series of family photographs shows the passage of time as this boy grows into a young man, marries, has a daughter and, all too quickly, becomes a grandfather.

Grandfather and grandson share a sense of playfulness; they are two boys playing together and enjoying each other's company, despite the grandfather's increasing age. As time passes, Grandfather becomes confined to bed, but his grandson brings home a remarkable surprise that captures a part of the grandfather's childhood and provides a way for him to share in the fun of a snowy day.

The wordless story is told through a series of illustrations that speak for themselves. The book is perfect for sharing, and encourages readers to discover its story and tell it together.


About the authors

Gary Barwin is a writer, composer, and performer. He is the author of numerous books and chapbooks of poetry and fiction including the poetry collections frogments from the frag pool: haiku after basho (written with derek beaulieu) and Raising Eyebrows and Outside the Hat (Coach House Books) and the fiction collections Doctor Weep and other strange teeth, Big Red Baby (The Mercury Press), and Cruelty to Fabulous Animals (Moonstone Press). He is the author of The Mud Game, a novel written with Stuart Ross (The Mercury Press). Barwin is also the author of several books for children including Seeing Stars, a young adult novel (Stoddart Kids) nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award and the CLA YA Book of the Year, and Killer Poodle Made Me Island King (Fox Meadow), co-winner of the Muskoka Novel Marathon 2003. Barwin received a PhD in Music Composition and currently teaches music at Hillfield-Strathallan College and creative writing at McMaster University. Barwin lives in Hamilton, where he has cultivated vague but colourful illusions about his writing. Please don’t tell him.

Gary Barwin's profile page

Kitty Macaulay's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Author Gary Barwin has told a charming little story.... Kitty Macaulay has done a fine job with her gentle watercolour illustrations.... The magic of this book lies in the combination of its warm illustrations and the story of a special bond between a boy and his grandfather. Recommended.

Canadian Materials

Other titles by Gary Barwin

Other titles by Kitty Macaulay