Perfect Picture Book Friday – Before Morning

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

Oh my goodness do I have a beauty for you today!

I read a lot of picture books.

Many of them are excellent.

But every now and again I read one that is just so perfect, so magically written and illustrated, that it takes my breath away, knocks my socks off, and makes me whisper to myself, “Man!  I wish I’d written that!”

Today’s selection is one of those 🙂

The Halloweensie Contest is over.

Thanksgiving is coming.

And that means, before you know it, the skies will be swirling with flurries of snow!

My Perfect Picture Book today is all about that most coveted of childhood days – the peaceful, happy, special perfection of snow days 🙂


Title: Before Morning

Written By: Joyce Sidman

Illustrated By: Beth Krommes

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 4 2016, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-7

Themes/Topics: seasons (winter), snow, snow days, invocations, language fun (rhyme, word choice)

Opening: “In the deep woolen dark, as we slumber unknowing, let the sky fill with flurry and flight.” (These few words actually cover 5 spreads, some of which are wordless.)

Brief Synopsis: Although there is much going on in the busy, busy world, a small child wishes for just one day to be a delightfully snow-covered pause.


Links To Resources: the final page of the book explains invocations and invites young readers to come up with their own; make paper snowflakes; snow recipes; make your own snow!

Why I Like This Book: Oh my goodness!  What’s not to love?  This book is beautiful in every way!  The rhyming text is written by Joyce Sidman (you know what a huge fan I am of Red Sings From Treetops!) and it is gorgeous and poetic and spare.  How can you not love a book that begins “In the deep woolen dark”?! 🙂  The entire book is 66 words, so expertly chosen and crafted together that as a writer I can only feel awe.  And the art is scratchboard and watercolor, exquisitely done, showing the little girl’s hopes that while she sleeps the world will turn white, allowing for a hushed, snow-covered morning that keeps her family home for a leisurely breakfast, some extra time together, the chance to go sledding and make snow angels, and come home to dry wet mittens.  It is everything we all love about snow days, and every child’s prayer for one to come to their house!


I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out 🙂 ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

P.S. One little side note: my email service is msn, which has recently switched its Outlook mail platform.  I am having TERRIBLE trouble getting my email!!!  So for people who have contacted me about the Halloweensie Prizes, or people who are in my writing class, or anyone else who may be emailing me, if I don’t get back to you right away, that’s why!  I can’t receive, read, or send email with any kind of reliability.  A serious problem in the world we currently live in!  If anyone else has experienced this problem and found a work-around, PLEASE let me know!!!


23 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Before Morning

  1. Patricia Tilton says:

    I loved this story. Just read it recently. The illustrations are a feast for the eyes. Such a beautiful book. Almost shared my review today — glad I didn’t. This is a book readers will want to keep.

  2. Wendy says:

    My link double posted–sorry! Usually when I refresh my browser, I see it posted and this time I didn’t so I resubmitted. BUt of course when I checked one final time, there were two.
    I saw this book on the “best of 2016” list but haven’t seen it myself yet. My appetite is whet!

    • ptnozell says:

      Wendy, I noticed that my link didn’t show right away either; I almost submitted it again or thought to include it in my comment, but I refreshed the page before I did so & voila! BTW, I picked up Chicken in Space at the library yesterday – look forward to reading the book & your review this weekend.

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      No worries, Wendy 🙂 If I can delete the double I will, but it’s no big deal 🙂 Thank you for posting a PPB! You should definitely have a look at this one if you can. I ache to write like Joyce Sidman did in this book – so perfect!

  3. martymi6 says:

    Love having your suggestions for new PB titles to read. This one sounds like one I wish I’d written, too! I will also look for the author’s other book that you mentioned. Thanks, Susanna!

  4. Sue Heavenrich says:

    I love visiting people’s blogs to read the reviews – but some are “private”… which means the uninvited public don’t get to see the reviews.

  5. writersideup says:

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOOOOOOVE Beth Krommes’ work!!! Didn’t know about this one. Can’t wait to see!

    And I hope I can finally start stopping by, Susanna 🙂 Missed you!

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