3 years and up
It Snowed Last Night
A remarkable and magical picture book, It Snowed Last Night is a delightful experiment mixing photography and illustration harmoniously, bringing these two art forms together with great attention in order to tell a story.
The city is still asleep. Everything is covered in a blanket of white.
(…) “Everything is still, even the noises have become invisible.” `
This voice that seems to come from the outside, far away, quickly becomes a first person protagonist that guides us through the story: “It’s getting late and I need to go outside too.”
The photos follow what the protagonist sees and thinks: in the house, through the window, looking down, between the parked cars. On the doorstep, we change perspective and end up on the sidewalk with the roofs and branches above and footprints and manhole covers below.
This is a story of curious eyes discovering a brand new city. Sometimes silent and observing, the eyes follow the sudden appearance of colorful lights or the sound of footfalls, then on the next page, the eyes travel quietly elsewhere. Other times, we are guided by words, “So many different creatures inhabit the city, and each one leaves its mark.” The originality of bicycles tracks or the intricate patterns of car tires appear almost like lace. Footprints, hidden here and there in the snow, reveal the personnality of each shoe. “The shapes disappear… or transform…” Colors stand out and draw the eye towards them. Combinations and lasting memories are formed: brown leaves, like the fur of a dog; a round mirror, like a trunk that’s been cut. A feeling of enchantment floats over the city and it almost seems as if a deer will appear, bounding through the streets, or a pale and hungry wolf will be seen wandering through the dog park.
Words and images play off each other: “all the way up to the roofs,” the protagonist thinks and immediately the image floats up to chimneys, far away branches and the tops of cars.
The city is full of so many stories and each one leaves a mark, or the absence of a mark.
As well as telling a coherent visual and photographic journey full of surprises, Ninamasina adds her own personality through delicate illustrations, giving space for the imagination of the protagonist, playing with reality and adding simple and startling details. The border between reality and imagination blurs and becomes impalpable. Are the colors really real? Is that truly how they appear in winter?
The walk from home to school thus becomes an adventure filled with feelings and discoveries; the lack of sound and color making the invisible visible, bringing to life a world that can only appear, as if by magic, with the snow. A story of lost details.
A gorgeous book that goes far beyond a simple catalog of splendid, disparate images, bringing them together to tell a story that is accessible to children as young as 3 years old. Give them the gift of wonder!
Description taken from Anche i rumori sono diventati invisibili, by Maria Polita, in Scaffale Basso,14.11.2017