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When the Snow Is Deeper Than My Boots Are Tall

Find a frosty window. Watch the flakes fall. Look! The snow is deeper than my toes are tall.

With young, rhyming verse and bright illustrations, Jean Reidy and Joey Chou capture the joy and excitement of a big snowfall. As the snow climbs over a boy’s toes, ankles, shins, and boots, there’s more and more fun to be had—snowmen, sledding, snow angels, and, finally, a cup of hot cocoa by a warm fire.

Picture book, Ages 4-8, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers/Godwin Books
ISBN: 9781250127129, (Hardcover)


“Oh! The thrills—and chills—of the season’s first snowstorm!

A child slips on snow pants, ‘loopty-loops’ a scarf, zips up a jacket, and gets ready to ‘Step! Stamp! Stomp!’ in the snow until it is finally ‘deeper than my boots are tall.’ Oh dear! Luckily, playful parents ‘swoop’ the child out of the deep snow and stay to enjoy family play in the snow. Chou’s blocky, bright illustrations show a peach-complected, brown-haired father, mother, and child against changing snow-blue backgrounds. The child’s pink-and-purple hat, orange scarf, lime-green parka, and pink mittens make for vivid spots of color on the icy pages. A friendly dog and somewhat dubious cat provide additional visual interest. One playmate is a child of color. Although the rhyme and meter aren’t technically perfect, this snow ballad (with repeated and expanding chorus and onomatopoeic exclamations) sings: ‘And my nose drip, drips, / and my wet cheeks freeze, / and the drifts, oh they drift / to the tops of my knees, / and my feet get soaked, / toes one and all, / because the snow is deeper— / it’s really so much deeper— / the snow is deeper than my boots are tall.’ It’s just waiting for a performer and a young audience eager to participate.

This celebration of the first day of snowy play hits the right notes.”


“Candy-bright digital illustrations with a retro-modern flair by Chou match the exuberance of Reidy’s rhyming snow day story. A curly-headed child, ruddy-faced, is excited to go outside and play: ‘Winter’s here at last!/ Gobble down my pancakes./ Getting dressed so fast.’ Repetition (‘Then I roll, roll, roll/ that ball, ball, ball/ and the carrot-nosed man/ grows tall, tall, tall’) and relatable, concrete descriptions (‘But my pinkie’s in my mitten/ where my thumb should go/ and my hat flies off/ when the cold winds blow’) drive the action, which centers on the child playing outside, getting too cold, and then cuddling up with their parents. Though the story devolves into greeting-card sentiment (‘When my heart’s so big…/ I never feel small’), the rising snow is measured with kid-friendly specificity—’deeper than my toes are tall,” “deeper than my ankles are high,’ ‘deeper than my boots are tall’—that is sure to please.”

Publishers Weekly

“This charming story follows a young boy as he wakes up to find the first snowfall of the season. He is excited and immediately prepares for a fun day playing in the snow. The text is written in a fantastic rhyming scheme and rich in figurative language. The illustrations by Joey Chou are vibrant and whimsical.  They beautifully capture the boys’ adventures as he explores his winter wonderland. This is a perfect story to share with younger audiences about the joy of a snow day.”

I Love Picture Books

“This rhyming picture book follows a young child’s first winter foray into the snow, from the first flake falling in the morning to the hot cup of cocoa at the end of the day. There is, of course, the preparation: ‘Slip on my snow pants./Tug on my hat./Loopty-loop my scarf./What’s cozier than that?’ Once outside, snowball fights with friends begin (‘Splet! Splat! Splot!’) along with snowman-making efforts, until ‘my pinkie’s in my mitten/where my thumb should go,/and my hat flies off/when the cold winds blow.’ Mama and Papa cheer the narrator up, though, and some more wintry fun ensues until the fam decides to head on inside for a crackling fire and a nice warm drink. While the rhyme stumbles occasionally, this is still a joyful, rhythmic celebration of the wonders of the season, and inclusion of repetition and onomatopoeia make this an appealing readaloud. Chou’s digital art has a geometric solidity to it, and the scenes are awash in in appropriate tones of blue and white with touches of lavender and pink, adding a bit of frosty dreaminess, while the kiddo’s boldly colorful getup highlights the text’s effusive lightness. Read this before a trek out into the snow drifts or pair it with Bean’s Big Snow (BCCB 11/13) for a cozy cuddle on a chilly evening.”

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All materials © 2019 Jean Reidy. Author website by Websy Daisy. Shelly the Turtle designed by Genevieve Leloup.