Who Will Make the Snow?
Illustrated by Marjana Prokhasko
Twin moles, Purl and Crawly, are born on the first day of spring. The newest members of their woodland world, they’re curious about everything. What is swimming? How do we get better when we’re sick? Do animals live in the sea? Why do grownups eat smelly cheese? What happens when we die? Every day is filled with another adventure as Purl and Crawly explore the peculiar characters that surround them in the forest. Home is always waiting for them, filled with the clacking of father’s typewriter, the sound of mother playing her upright bass, and the smells of quince jam and medicinal moss brews. During their adventures outside the home, they learn that the world is sometimes scarier and stranger than it seemed from the pocket of their father’s coat. Each new encounter leaves Purl and Crawly a little braver and wiser and with a few extra friends. Brilliantly illustrated with scenes of mischief and discovery by Marjana Prokhasko, Who Will Make the Snow? reminds us that the world is always larger and more wonderful than we can see from our own corner of the woods.
Published on December 12th, 2023
Marjana Prokhasko's illustrations are beautifully textured and atmospheric. The characters draw you into their whimsical world, a place I would like to stay! There are so many sweet details throughout - a feast for the eyes and a delight for the inquisitive reader (or mole)!
— Esmé Shapiro
This sweet, strange and quietly philosophical illustrated chapter book follows a year in the life of the newborn twin moles Purl and Crawly, who live in a whimsically imagined woodland community... Akin in spirit and tone to A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh and Tove Jansson’s Moomin series, its narrative takes its time, stopping to appreciate the changing seasons and everyday moments of cozy family life, all enchantingly illustrated with soft, scribbly drawings... Subtle hints of anxiety, melancholy and even existentialism underpin the cuteness.
This fanciful tale relates a year in the life of a family of moles and their neighbors . . . In Mrs. Prokhasko’s affectionate and colorful scratchy-lined pictures, the moles are shown with inky oblong bodies and noses that resemble tiny beaks. They can be seen in charming tableaux enjoying such pleasures as hammocks, typewriters and cups of percolated coffee. A gentle philosophical note wafts into the story from time to time, notably in winter, when a group of young characters discusses where snow comes from.
Beech Forest has the same Utopian charm of the Hundred Acre Wood and Moominvalley, and like those settings I would very much like to settle down, read the news in The Daily Mole, and visit friends at Under the Oak Cafe. It's not that nothing bad happens here, it's just that life's movements follow the seasons and all challenges are faced bravely and in community. Taras's story has the feel of a classic with a contemporary generosity, especially thanks to a lift from Dralyuk and Croft's superb translation, and Marjana's textured illustrations are expressive, often gorgeous, and full of delightful details.
— Timothy Otte, Wild Rumpus Books, Minneapolis
This cozily domestic chapter book by married team the Prokhaskos opens on the first day of spring, when twins Crawly and Purl are born to an already sizable mole family . . . Forest adventures follow in seven chapters, accompanied by lively discussion . . . A world in which conflict stays largely mole-sized and manageable, while softly colored, scribbly line drawings provide glimpses of mole home life, including neat lines of drying underwear and a simmering cauldron of quince jam.
In a small community that feels a bit like the Hundred Acre Wood, a large family of moles—which called to mind my father’s enormous Catholic family of origin—welcomes a pair of twins. It is spring, and the book will follow the family through the rest of the seasons with a delightful series of vignettes. The stories are incredibly charming and wholesome, timeless yet feminist (see Mama Mole). The illustrations are stunning—unique and unforgettable. Over the course of a year, the two youngest moles learn so much—namely, how to be brave. Who Will Make the Snow? is a standout treasure. Bonus points: it introduced me to both an intriguing Ukrainian writer and an intriguing Ukrainian visual artist.
— Mary Wahlmeier Bracciano, Raven Bookstore, Lawrence, KS
In this tale originally published in Ukraine, mole twins born on the first day of spring discover a generally welcoming world outside their burrow as the seasons pass... Animal residents gather at the Under the Oak Café to peruse the gossipy Daily Mole, which Papa Mole compiles and types up, while Mama Mole makes quince jam and leads her large family, including little Purl and Crawly, out in autumn to sketch the changing trees while she plays her double bass... A stormy autumn flood provides some mild danger, but overall this short chapter book makes for cozy, peaceable reading.
— Kirkus Reviews
The illustrations by Marjana Prokhasko are stunning and detailed, capturing the beauty and diversity of the forest. The colors are vibrant and inviting, creating a sense of wonder and joy. The text is simple and engaging... The book also includes a glossary of Ukrainian words at the end, which adds to the cultural richness and authenticity of the story... A perfect choice for families who want to share a cozy and uplifting read with their children.
From the whimsical text to the soft yet vibrant illustrations, this charming chapter book brings to life the Mole family dynamics, the woodland community, and seasonal changes. Who Will Make the Snow? would be a cozy addition to any family or classroom library.
Homey settings brought to life by Marjana Prokhasko’s striking illustrations result in a cozy chapter book reminiscent of the work of Maurice Sendak or Beatrix Potter. Don’t be fooled by the whimsy, though; amid the sled rides and leisurely strolls, characters confront harsh realities such as death (the title refers to the dead moles who create snow in the afterlife) and child abandonment. Adults may find the story off-putting—compared with most American kid lit, there’s more bitter mixed in with the sweet—but youngsters will adore it.
— Mahnaz Dar, Kirkus Reviews