Books Elma Family Kitty Pip Reading what we're reading

Snow {what we’re reading}


Happy New Year and welcome to another year of What We’re Reading- the bookshelves have started to groan under the weight of some lovely new Christmas presents and the library is bound to have restocked over the holidays too. It’s time to set sail on another adventure of beautiful pictures, words to chew on or wrap your tongue around and always always lovely stories to spellbind and intrigue.

And we’re starting with a book that I contemplated saving until next Christmas, but then decided it was too good to share and I couldn’t wait that long, because what we are reading, and also staring out the window with our noses pressed up to the glass desperately hoping for, is Snow.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Carolina Rabei has taken Walter de la Mare’s wonderfully evocative poem and set it to her beautiful illustrations, and the result is just magical, capturing the feeling of deep peacefulness that falls with the first soft fat flakes, the excitement of watching it build and knowing that soon there will be snowballs and snowmen and snow angels and everything white and beautiful, and through it all a robin flitting from branch to branch, a splash of colour in a newly monochrome world.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life


No breath of wind, 
No gleam of sun – 
Still the white snow 
Whirls softly down 
Twig and bough 
And blade and thorn 
All in an icy 
Quiet, forlorn. 
Whispering, rustling, 
Through the air 
On still and stone, 
Roof, – everywhere, 
It heaps its powdery 
Crystal flakes, 
Of every tree 
A mountain makes; 
‘Til pale and faint 
At shut of day 
Stoops from the West 
One wint’ry ray, 
And, feathered in fire 
Where ghosts the moon, 
A robin shrills 
His lonely tune.

I know poetry like art is ver subjective and what I love might be utterly boring to anyone else, but given Walter de la Mare’s popularity, I rather suspect that I’m not alone in wanting to read it again and again and again, just letting the imagery flood through my mind.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And as for Kitty and Elma and Pip, I don’t know whether this is considered to be one of Walter de la Mare’s works specifically aimed at children, and my guess would be that it isn’t, but I don’t think that matters.  I think there’s something rather lovely in being exposed to some poetry before you’re old enough to sit down and dissect it or be forced to do so in an educational environment (there are some poems that for me have never recovered from my English A-level).  It gives you the time to just let the poem be, to let it sit with you and trickle into your mind wherever it most resonates, and then to discover it again with fond familiarity as an adult.  I would read this poem to my little ones if it came printed on a tea towel but happily for them and for me, there are illustrations galore, some matching the text and some pages just pictures, building up the story in the loveliest way.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

It was only published last year, and I really hope it’s the start of things to come and a whole heap of beautiful poems illustrated for children (that’s a hint Faber & Faber).

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

It’s a bedtime book, or a twilight book, a book for reading curled up in the last light of the day, snug under quilts, when you crave calm and togetherness and possibly the last of the chocolate out of the Christmas selection box, as you dream of waking up to a white wonderland outside.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And for a little extra festive sparkle, Faber & Faber published a short animated trailer to launch Snow;

Now tell me you aren’t secretly hoping to wake up to a white out tomorrow morning!


Space for the Butterflies: What We're Reading

What We’re Reading is a weekly link up of posts about children’s books.  That’s about as far as the ‘rules’ go; it can be picture books, baby books, books for older children or even young adult if you like; just come and join us to tell us what you’ve been reading recently.  The linky is always open for a week so there’s plenty of time to join in, or if you’d rather join in on Instagram or Twitter that would be wonderful too, just use the hashtag #whatweread and tag me (@cariemay on Instagram and @cariemaymakes on Twitter) and then we can all come and say hi.

So without further ado, come and tell me what we’re going to want to be reading next!


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  • preeta samarasan 06/01/2015 at 8:12 am

    This looks lovely! My girls are big fans of poetry. I highly recommended Carol Ann Duffy’s various collections if you haven’t got them already, and also, of course, Ted Hughes.

    • Carie 07/01/2015 at 8:21 am

      I’ve not read any Carol Ann Duffy for a while – and not to the girls – thank you for the tip, I’ll have to see what I can dig out 🙂

  • Donna 06/01/2015 at 9:58 am

    This book looks absolutely beautiful. I’m a sucker for nice books, especially Christmas ones and this is one I’ll be looking out for x

    • Carie 07/01/2015 at 8:23 am

      Oh you’d love this one, it’s very gentle to read – all we need now is the snow!

  • Jess @ Picnics in the Rain 06/01/2015 at 2:37 pm

    Oh please let us have snow, I so want Rosalie to experience it! What a beautiful poem and wonderful illustrations. I second your plea for more illustrated poems for Children. It’s definitely good to enjoy the poem for what it is, I too have several that A-level English ruined for me. Thanks for hosting x

    • Carie 07/01/2015 at 8:27 am

      Well between the two of us we can think some snow into existence can’t we? I’m glad I’m not the only one who had casualties to their A-level – Seamus Heaney has never recovered for me!

  • Vickie 06/01/2015 at 8:40 pm

    I ordered Snow along with Adventivity but it got lost in the post and then was sold out. Now I’m really sad to have missed out on it as it’s more wonderful than I imagined having read the synopsis.

    I am really hoping for snow but not holding out much luck. Bubs was a tiny baby last time we had snow, so she doesn’t remember it at all.

    • Carie 07/01/2015 at 2:07 pm

      Oh no! Blackwell in Oxford had lots when we were there just before Christmas and hopefully it will come back into stock even if not until nearer next year

  • appleshoe 06/01/2015 at 8:53 pm

    That IS a lovely book. I will wait to watch the video link for now (I don’t want to wake Panda). Have a blessed day.

    • Carie 07/01/2015 at 2:08 pm

      Oh you’ll love the video – it make me feel peaceful and Christmassy all over again!

  • sustainablemum 06/01/2015 at 9:16 pm

    That looks like a beautiful book 🙂

    • Carie 07/01/2015 at 2:08 pm

      It really is!

  • dean of Little Steps 06/01/2015 at 9:51 pm

    Oh this is lovely! Must add this on my list, not for little T but for myself. Okay fine, for both of us 🙂 This is one of those books to add to ones collection.

    • Carie 07/01/2015 at 2:09 pm

      Oh add it to the list for you! If young adult fiction is OK to read as an adult then surely beautiful picture books are next!

  • sally 07/01/2015 at 5:17 pm

    This looks beautiful. I’ve seen (and bought!) a few gorgeous books along kind of similar principles recently – beautifully illustrated books of songs and pieces of art. I think this might have to be added to my next Amazon basket, and here’s hoping for the real thing too.

    • Carie 08/01/2015 at 8:59 am

      I really hope it’s a trend that will continue, it’s so lovely to share with the little ones!

  • Yanic 11/01/2015 at 1:07 am

    Looks like a wonderful book. Adding it to my wish list for sure. I’m always drawn to the art first, story second, Is that strange? Thank you for the recommendation.