Great Illustrated Books

Straight to the Pole

By Kevin OMalley

Walker Books for Young Readers, 2004
Pages : 32
Suggested Ages: 4-7
ISBN: 0802788661

"Frozen and alone. Pressing on through the snow." Swathed in winter gear and a backpack, a solitary child trudges through a fierce snowstorm, braving wind and ice. Wearing a stocking cap and a scarf tied around his (or her-the gender is never specified) head, only his eyes are showing. "This is gonna hurt!" he moans as he slips and slides, and then clings, exhausted, onto a tree trunk. "Can't go on," reads the large print caption on the page. And then, in balloon dialogue, he groans, "I told Mom this would happen." He spies a WOLF! "I'm doomed." Really? A wolf? Well, actually, your readers of this simply written picture book, narrated by the main character, will notice by now that the kid's being a bit melodramatic. The "wolf" is really a friendly brown dog with a red collar, bounds over and leaps up to try to lick the child's face. "WON'T SOMEBODY SAVE ME?" the boy declaims. Then help appears, in the guise of two similarly clad children, carrying sleds, who inform him that school has been closed for the day. Off he runs, jubilant, leaving his backpack at the bus stop.

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If you love this book, then try:

Branley, Franklyn M. Snow Is Falling. HarperCollins, 2000.

Burton, Virginia Lee. Katy and the Big Snow. Houghton Mifflin, 1943.

Carrick, Carol. Lost in the Storm. Clarion, 1987.

Cassino, Mark, with Jon Nelson. The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder. Chronicle, 2009.

Chapman, Cheryl. Snow on Snow on Snow. Dial, 1994.

Gliori, Debi. The Snow Lambs. Scholastic, 1996.

Johnson, David A. Snow Sounds: An Onomatopoeic Story. Houghton Mifflin, 2006.

Keats, Ezra Jack. The Snowy Day. Viking, 1962.

Kellogg, Steven. The Missing Mitten Mystery. Dial, 2000.

Lakin, Patricia. Snow Day! Dial, 2002.

Martin, Jacqueline Briggs. Snowflake Bentley. Houghton Mifflin, 1998.

O'Malley, Kevin. Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude. Walker, 2005.

Perkins, Lynne Rae. Snow Music. Greenwillow, 2003.

Prelutsky, Jack. It's Snowing! It's Snowing! Greenwillow, 1984.

Sakai, Komako. The Snow Day. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, 2009.

Schnur, Steven. Winter: An Alphabet Acrostic. Clarion, 2002.

Steen, Sandra & Susan Steen. Car Wash. Putnam, 2001.

Stojic, Manya. Snow. Knopf, 2002.

Wright, Betty Ren. The Blizzard. Holiday House, 2003.

Critics have said

Young fans of irony-fortified humor will get a hoot out of O'Malley's snowy spoof. . . Guaranteed to elicit giggles from any kid who has worn a snowsuit.
Publishers Weekly