Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction Imagination & Play


by (author) Joan Clark

illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Sep 2006
Imagination & Play, Seasons, Weather
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2006
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2019
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 5
  • Grade: p to k
  • Reading age: 3 to 5


Winner of the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award

Snow falls all day. Snow falls all week. Snow falls all month!

Sammy's world is a blanket of white. As he clambers up the heaps and mountains of snow, he imagines what might lie beneath -- whales and seals, a black bear and her cubs, or could there be elves mining rubies and emeralds? Finally, the weather turns warm and the snow begins to melt, and Sammy finds a green surprise.

In this simple, atmospheric book, author Joan Clark and illustrator Kady MacDonald Denton create a paean to that magical substance that enchants the eyes of children in winter.

About the authors

Joan Clark is one of Canada's most distinguished writers. She was born in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, grew up in Sydney Mines and in Sussex, New Brunswick, and lived for twenty years in Alberta. There, she began her literary career as a children's author and, with Edna Alford, founded Dandelion, Alberta's first literary magazine. Since the mid-1980s, she has made her home in St. John's, Newfoundland. In 1991, Clark received the prestigious Marian Engel Award. In addition to Swimming Toward the Light, she is the author of three novels. The first, The Victory of Geraldine Gull, won the Canadian Authors' Association Award for Fiction and was a finalist for the Governor General's Award and the Books in Canada First Novel Award. Eriksdotter was a fictional account of the voyage to Finland led by Freydis, daughter of Erik the Red. Her most recent novel, Latitudes of Melt, is a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, Caribbean and Canada region, and is a recent nominee for the international IMPAC Award.

Joan Clark's profile page

Kady MacDonald Denton has illustrated more than forty picture books, including the New York Times bestseller A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker, and A SECOND IS A HICCUP by Hazel Hutchins. She lives in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Please visit her website at

Kady MacDonald Denton's profile page


  • Long-listed, SYRCA Shining Willow Award
  • Short-listed, CLA Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award
  • Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award
  • Commended, Bank Street College Children's Library Best Children's Books of the Year
  • Winner, Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award

Editorial Reviews

...this delicate fantasy will please many young snow fans.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

The watercolour illustrations are beautiful and significantly enhance the story...An enchanting book by both an award-winning author and an award-winning illustrator.

Childhood Education Magazine

The Clark-Denton take on the subject is such that most mortals - young or old - reading this book will long for the advent of winter.

Globe and Mail

...the author uses several wonderful turns of phrase which give this book a poetic feel and make it a pleasure to read aloud.

CM Magazine

...lyrical, imaginative and repetitive, full of fun and dreams.

Resource Links

...a joyful collaboration that seems as effortless as falling snow...Kady MacDonald Denton packs tremendous energy and verve into her delightful and colourful illustrations.

Quill & Quire

Librarian Reviews


Sammy wakes one morning to find that his entire world is in the midst of a snowstorm. “It snowed through breakfast, lunch and supper. It snowed through play time and read time. It snowed through bed time, sleep time and dream time.” In fact, it snows all day, all week and all month. When the storm finally abates, a jubilant Sammy rushes outside to survey the transformed landscape. He wonders what could be lying underneath the peaks and cliffs created by the snowplows, and his vivid imagination goes to work. Could there be a black bear and her cubs sleeping inside a snow cave? Could a ship be locked in ice, or might dwarves and elves be mining frozen rubies and emeralds? Sammy continues to speculate about what might lie beneath the white blanket covering the earth.

Alas, the snow gradually begins to melt away. When his mother asks him what he is doing in the midst of the watery slush, our young protagonist dreamily replies, “Imagining grass.” We know that Sammy will continue to conjure up lovely thoughts in his quest to understand his world.

Joan Clark has written a gentle tale which celebrates the magic of winter and the power of the imagination. The lilt of the words make this an ideal read-aloud for young children who readily identify with Sammy. Clark’s text is well complemented by Kady MacDonald Denton’s splendid and uninhibited illustrations. Her watercolor and ink, oil stick and charcoal drawings capture the ethereal atmosphere of an enchanted land covered in snow. The northern lights, icebergs, igloos and other wintery subjects are portrayed with flair and energy. Snow will melt your heart!

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2006. Vol.29 No. 4.

Other titles by Joan Clark

Other titles by Kady MacDonald Denton

Related lists