Because we’re in the middle of summer, our snowballs are fluffy pom poms. They were our beyond the book activity to go along with, A Dot in the Snow by Corrinne Averiss and Fiona Woodcock. But why red dots in amongst the white? Hopefully our review will shed some light.
Mama Polar Bear is fishing for food on the ice, but Bubba Polar Bear, Miki, wants to play in the soft snow. We sense his hesitation, a slight fear or apprehension when it comes diving under the water. While it’s important for him to watch his mother and learn from her, the snow is calling. He goes “Up, up, up the snowy ridge. And that’s where he [sees] it…a dot in the snow.” It stands out in the vast white landscape—a fuzzy red ball in the distance. Miki races to get a closer look. His view alters. As he, and we, approach the dot, it becomes clear that it’s a little lost girl in a bright red hooded dress. “The Dot waved its paw.” And the Dot wants to play. It’s all fun and smiles until the Dot loses the “red thing” from her paw. The mitten falls beneath the ice and Miki faces his fear. He dives deep into the sea, retrieves the Dot’s mitten, red thing, and helps her find another red dot in the snow—her mum. Miki returns home too, for snuggles and a well-earned sleep.
Averiss wrote this tender story through the eyes of Miki the polar bear cub. Ooko, by Esme Shapiro, is another book that does this very well. The technique adds an extra layer of cuteness to an already adorable narrative. Woodcock’s texture is beautiful and suits the playful nature of the story, our central character Miki, and the magic of snow.