Bookmark Monday: Simple but winning stories
I mentioned Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton in my last post and wanted to do a review of it this week.
Katy is a tractor who functions as a bulldozer in summer and a snow plow in winter.
Most winters though, the snow is mild and the Highway Department does not need to deploy Katy, and can rely on its regular trucks to clear the snow.
One day however, the city of Geoppolis gets massively snowed under and the usual trucks are overwhelmed. Everyone is stuck, and it’s Katy to the rescue as she chug, chug, chugs steadily and calmly to clear the streets of the city and save the day.
Enduring and endearing
It strikes me that the story in itself isn’t an incredibly complicated plot.
At no point does one get the sense that Katy may not succeed. In fact, you know she is going to be able to complete the task, and endurance and perseverance will save the day.
The fact that the kids sat quietly throughout the entire reading without twitching (it is a fairly long read, and they have fidgeted through shorter ones…) lends weight to that you don’t need complicated plots to gain the attention of young readers.
What about older readers? Did I enjoy the book myself? Yes, I did. Call me escapist or old-fashioned, I don’t care. Nothing beats the feel-good factor of a no twists, no dark sub plots, just pure and simple “good guys always win” storyline. 😉
At the start of the book, there is also a two-page spread map of the city of Geoppolis with a compass at the top right hand side of the page, which piqued DD’s attention to ask what was a compass.
I thought it was a handy introduction to the concept of maps and directions. Children can identify the various buildings of the city on the map using the numbered guide and explore the concepts of North, South, East and West as they follow Katy’s path to clear the city roads, outlined in the subsequent pages and trace it back against the overall map.