Once there was a little girl called Mia, who came from a city of streetlights and stars.
But Mia left her home, with its cooing pigeons and rumbling trains, and came to live with her Grandma, deep in the heart of a whispering forest.
Published by Scholastic in September 2013
Mia has come to live with her Grandma in a land of forests and snow. It isn't at all like her old life in the city, and at first she feels very different from the new children she sees. But when she watches the snow falling around her one night, Mia realises that she is just like one of the snowflakes - unique and perfect in her own way
I don’t normally review the picture books, but I couldn’t resist this one.
Snowflakes is the story of Mia, a mixed raced child from the city, who is sent to live with her white grandmother in the country. The reasons for this permanent move are never revealed, so you are left to make your own assumptions about what happened to her parents.
Mia is nervous and very aware that she looks different from the other children in the village. She is convinced she won’t fit in and make friends. It’s only when the snow arrives and Mia sneaks outside during onee evening to see it, that she realises she doesn’t have to be the same as everyone else to fit in. Just like every snowflake, every person is different. And as every snowflake is perfect, so is every human being.
This book is beautifully written. The illustrations are detailed and quite stunning, really capturing the essence of the story, giving it a magical quality. This is probably one of the first picture books I’ve seen that has dealt with diversity in children and I think the author has dealt with it sensitively. Her second picture book, Mermaids, which is due out this month, also deals with diversity in children, as the main character is disabled.
You may be familiar with the author Cerrie Burnell, as she is a well-known CBeebies presenter. Cerrie loves to write about diversity for younger children. As a single, disabled mother, with a mixed raced child, she recently told me how these were subjects that were second nature to her. If you are looking for a picture book that shows real life, then this would be an ideal book to buy for your child.