Sam Gayton writes children books and plays. I had never heard of him until my boyfriend put his book in my hands and said: “You have to read this, this sounds really cool! I’m buying this for you!”
The Snow Merchant is a tale about the creation of snow – why, where and for what purpose it was made. It is also a story about Lettie – a little girl who runs the White Horse inn and has made a promise to not step one step outside of the inn. She follows this rule until one day a mysterious stranger comes by, claiming that he is going to make snow and Lettie will be his customer for whom he will make it. This is just a start for Lettie’s adventures and rule breaking. She not only leaves her home, she sets out to sail and fight against evil and greedy people who want to steal snow for their own good. She finds not only friendship, happiness and love, but also a lot of adventures and family.
This is a book for children and to be honest, I think kids would like and enjoy it quite a bit, it was full of mystery and magic and unusual explanations for ordinary things.
I thought it was alright. At first, when I started to read it, it was a page turner. The language wasn’t too bad and the development was quick. But the longer I read on, the more tired I got from all the action and the fact that it was a bit predictable. By the end I thought that the book was too long and some episodes could have been edited out. But I think it could be a better read for kids, as they or their parents wouldn’t read big chunks all at once, so each reading session would be action packed.
My favourite character in this book probably was the little bird Periwinkle. He was so cute and nice and I’m just sad that he didn’t appear more. But my least favourite definitely was the Snow Merchant. God, how I hated him… more and more with each page. Besides I didn’t really think that he deserved the ending he got. He was stupid, selfish and didn’t think of consequences at all, yet the characters were too nice to him.
What I also disliked was the fact that this book, just like most of the other children books, had ugly characters who were the bad guys. More and more I feel like we should stress to kids that not always all the people who might have been misfortune in life, are bad. And not always all beautiful people are lovely and pure. I have developed serious hate for this type of characterisation, because it matters. Kids get scared and offend and scar people emotionally – people who have been through many things, because they are taught that all the bad guys are not only ugly from inside, but also from outside.
I liked the idea of the book, I just wish, the author would have payed more attention to alchemy and description of it – which were the most interesting things, but I guess that would make it a bit more like a grownup book, so scratch that!
What I could imagine is myself six years old, reading this book and then dropping everything in a pot and hoping that alchemy will happen and I will magically find out that I have alchemist talents and my life will never be the same. You know how it is with kids – anything can be real.
I gave this book three stars on my goodreads page, after a long consideration (couldn’t decide two or three stars) and although obviously I didn’t think that the book was amazing and awesome, I think that there’s a good chance that kids might think so, so I would still recommend giving it a try, if you have a child and think that the book could be appropriate.
There’s a good chance that you have never heard of this book, just like me before I read it. But unfortunately, I don’t really think it’s too appropriate of a read for adults, but it might be just me, so give it a try and let me know what you thought!
And I have a lot prettier cover than the one in the picture I found for you, to see the pretty, pretty cover, look into the goodreads page! Cheerio!