Thursday, July 24, 2008


I've been trying to think back to books that I liked as a little boy recently. I want to talk a bit about Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton. This will be a bit of an odd duck post, though, because, though this is the one that comes back to my mind most readily, I don't remember a whole lot about it. I know that it was incredibly important to me as a kid, though. I think it had a lot to do with the illustrations: I liked that the one image had time passing within it (though I couldn't have articulated that at the time). One illustration had pictures of her moving snow to let people and cars through and she was in multiple spots at once. I remember thinking that time must be passing from move to move and liking how it was all in a single image.

I have to track down a copy, though. I don't have my old one because when I moved out of my father's house (that's a nice way to put it; the verb "to escape" comes much more readily to mind), I had to leave with pretty much whatever I had on my back and whatever I could shove in one suitcase and a few boxes. This did not include any of the comics I had collected, nor did it include much of anything else: not the small fortune in Star Wars figures, or the drawer full of Legos that kept me sane, not even the box full of stuffed animals or the collection of children's books I had managed to hold on to. This isn't a lament for "things," mind, but a lament for the loss of physical objects that link to my childhood.

So, I have had to go back and re-buy many of the books I can remember. And I'm sure there are plenty of them that I'm not remembering.

I remember what I got from it, though, is this: serve your community. I can remember playing "librarian" with the rest of the kids on my street, and this book being the one book that I wouldn't lend because it was too important. Problem is, I only remember that there was lots of snow, and that Katy was the only one who had the skills to help the community out.

It certainly explains my tendency toward co-dependency, though, doesn't it?

Did you read this book? As a kid or as an adult? What did you think?


braundaddy said...

I TOTALLY remember this one, even just by seeing the cover. My mom used to read it to us when we were little, and I can even remember practicing my own reading skills by reading this book to my younger siblings.

Now, having said that, I don't recall much more about the story line that what you have already mentioned. But, like you, I remember this book with fondness.

J. Campbell said...

I finally got a copy again and it was amazing to re-read it. If you get a chance, go back and check out a copy.