About the Holiday
Today we celebrate snowmen, those winter sculptures that roll to a stop on front lawns, welcome customers to friendly business, and enjoy a day or two (or more if the weather cooperates) in parks and town greens wherever snow falls. Why today? Because the clever founder of the holiday looked at the 18 and decided it looked enough like the rounded body of a snowman and requisite handle of a broomstick to honor our winter friends. Speaking of friends, did you know that tomorrow is one of the three times during the year that we celebrate New Friends Day? The other two dates are October 19 and July 19! If you’re looking for a story to share for both World Day of the Snowman and New Friends Day, you’ll want to pick up today’s book!
Making a Friend
Written by Tammi Sauer | Illustrated by Alison Friend
“Beaver was good at making lots of things.” He could build, he could knit, and he knew a bit about engineering. But he was not so good at making friends. He tried hard to do nice things, but something always seemed to go wrong. Then, one day, the snowflakes falling from the sky gave Beaver an idea. “Hmm! Maybe this is what I need to make a friend,” he thought.
He began rolling a huge snowball. While he was working, Raccoon came by to watch. When Beaver told him that he was making a friend, Raccoon said that it “takes two to make a friend.” Beaver was a bit disappointed until Raccoon did some math and showed him that Raccoon plus Beaver made two.
Working together Beaver and Raccoon made a cute snow friend. They added eyes, a nose, a smile, and two stick arms. But something was still missing. Raccoon said that thing was “pizzazz.” So they added a hat, a boa, some socks, and even a swim mask until their friend looked just right. But their friend just stared back at them. “This friend was not much of a friend at all. In fact, he seemed rather cold.”
Then Beaver and Raccoon looked at each other. They talked about what fun they’d had building the snow friend together. And they realized that they had become friends. Now they make lots of things to share, but they agree—“the best thing they made was a friend.”
Tammi Sauer unlocks the secret to friendship in her clever story in which making a friend leads to making a true friend. While Beaver tries to extend the hand of friendship and do nice things for others in the forest, his efforts miss the mark. But when he meets Raccoon, their personalities, talents, and ideas of fun click and they build a real friendship. Young readers will understand Beaver’s feelings of disappointment and confusion when his overtures of friendship are not reciprocated and see that collaborating with someone—either in play or toward a common goal—often brings friends together naturally.
Little readers will fall in love with Alison Friend’s adorable Beaver who’s so good at creating a playhouse complete with water slide but has trouble making friends. Cheerful and enthusiastic, Beaver is a sweetheart as he begins rolling the snow into a ball. When Raccoon comes by, Beaver quickly shares the fun. Kids will enjoy seeing and learn from the images of companionship and give-and-take as Beaver learns a little math and a new word from Raccoon and Raccoon discovers that he likes the raisons Beaver offers him on their way to creating their snowman. Full of color, smiles, and endearing moments, Friend’s pages are sure to delight kids.
Making a Friend is a charming read aloud, a celebration of creativity, and a gentle lesson on friendship all rolled into one. To share with children learning to navigate new friendships and those who love doing everything with their best buddy, the book makes a sweet addition to home, classroom, and public library bookshelves.
Ages 4 – 8
HarperCollins, 2018 | ISBN 978-0062278937
Discover more about Tammi Sauer and her books on her website.
You can connect with Alison Friend on Instagram.
World Day of the Snowman Activity
This is a great craft for kids to share with a friend. Grab a pair of socks and have fun making these snow buddies!
- White dress ankle socks
- Polyester Fiber Fill
- Tiny buttons
- Fleece or ribbon, enough for a little scarf
- Orange craft paint
- White rubber bands, one or two depending on the size of the snowman
- Fabric or craft glue
- Small hair band (optional)
To Make the Snowman
- Cut a circle from the cardboard about 2 inches in diameter for the base
- Place the cardboard circle in the bottom of the sock
- Fill the sock with fiber fill about ¾ full or to where the ribbed ankle cuff begins. Pack tightly while making a sausage shape. You can make your snowman different shapes with the amount of fill you use.
- Stretch out the cuff of the sock and tie it off near the top of the fill either with a loop knot or with the hairband.
- Fold the cuff down around the top of the filled sock to make the hat.
- Wrap a rubber band around the middle of the sock to make a two-snowball snowman. For a three-snowball snowman, use two rubber bands. Adjust the rubber bands to make the “snowballs” different sizes.
To Make the Scarf
- Cut a strip of fleece or ribbon 8 to 10 inches long by ½ inch wide
- Tie the fleece or ribbon around the neck of the snowman
- To Make the Nose
- Dip one end of the toothpick into orange paint, let dry
- Cut the toothpick in half
- Stick the toothpick into the head or top portion of the snowman
To Make the Arms
- Insert small twigs into each side of the body of the snowman
- You can also use wire or cardboard to make the arms
- Attach two mini-buttons to the face for eyes with the fabric or craft glue
- Display your Snow Buddy
You can find Making a Friend at these booksellers
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