Stratford author set to release latest children's book, Song for the Snow
Stratford author Jon-Erik Lappano is set to release his latest children's book, Song for the Snow, on Sept. 1.
While wishing once again for a day when snow covers everything like powdered sugar, Freya finds a snow globe by chance at a local market that plays a long-forgotten song the townspeople used to sing to bring the snow each winter. Though she learns the tune and sings it in her backyard, nothing changes until she has the idea to share it with her friends and neighbours.
“It’s that idea of we can’t always do things on our own,” Lappano said. “Sometimes they’re out of our control but, through collective hope and collective effort, we can turn things around.”
The idea for the story, Lappano explained, came from his own childhood memories of snowy Southwestern Ontario winters and that feeling of magic and wonder that came with each year’s first snowfall. Now, with three daughters, Lappano worries that a world warmed by climate change might not offer those same, formative winter experiences he had as a kid.
“Those moments are very special. Those moments actually shape us as people, so I wanted to kind of delve into the loss that we might feel as we go through these shifts,” Lappano said. “Obviously with climate change, some of the impacts and changes that we’re seeing are extremely significant, but I also wanted to look at one of the more subtle changes.
“What does it mean if the snow doesn’t arrive when you’re hoping for it? I wanted to look at climate change through the eyes of a child.”
Through his book, Lappano said he wanted to highlight the joy that snow brought – and still brings – for him and many others, while giving the kids and parents who read it a sense of hope that, if everyone pulls together to tackle the issues of climate change, those happy childhood memories don’t have to be relics of the past.
“We’re going through so many changes and I think the stories we tell, the mythologies in our culture, are actually there to help us navigate these changes,” Lappano said.
“I was really excited to work with Byron. His illustrations, I think, do such a good job at capturing the magic of the story. His images really capture that sense of wonder and the magic in the small moments I was really trying to illustrate through the text,” Lappano said. “He has such a beautiful palette. It’s very gentle, it’s very evocative and it was just really exciting to work with him on this.”