‘The Snowman and the Snowdog‘ based on the characters created by Raymond Briggs, written by Hilary Audus and Joanna Harrison (published by Puffin)
I don’t know what it says about me, but I’m someone who likes to have ‘sets’ of things and find it really hard when I know any set is incomplete. It will forever bother me that I have the first three Harry Potter books in paperback and the remaining ones in hardback. I shudder every time I pass the shelf housing our Beatrix Potter collection, knowing which titles are still missing. I think long and hard before starting any book in a series or even a proposed series, trying to calculate the level of commitment for which I’m signing myself up.
Thus, like many millions of other fans of the original ‘Snowman’ book and film, I couldn’t NOT watch ‘The Snowman and the Snowdog’ when it was shown on television last Christmas. We LOVED it and having got the book this Christmas, it’s safe to say that H is now obsessed. Our version of the story came with an audio CD (read by Benedict Cumberbatch) and he listens to this every night as he goes to sleep. Along with Lego, the only thing he wants from Father Christmas is a Snowman and a Snowdog. His birthday is early next year and he’s already requested a Snowman and Snowdog cake.
Even though I am exposed to it daily, I am still captivated by the story every time. With such a hard act to follow (Raymond Briggs was not involved with this project, though he reportedly gave it his blessing) the creators of this film, on which the book is based, must have been incredibly nervous, but they have accomplished their task with aplomb.
The story links back to the original, but also most definitely stands alone. As with ‘The Snowman’, the touching storyline manages to seem both real and magical at the same time and the soft focus illustrative style is still gorgeous. The only small criticism I have is that the text in our book is slightly clunky to read aloud. It must have been tricky for the authors to create the text given that the film is wordless and it’s not awful by any stretch, but just doesn’t quite match the high standards set by the illustrations and the film.
Anyway, the overwhelmingly positive opinions of C and H are probably more valid here – and they’d be very quick to tell me if they didn’t like a story I was reading – so perhaps I’m being nitpicky. Even if I’m not, this book is wonderful companion to the film and both versions of the story have already been awarded Modern Classic Status by us 🙂