Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Story of Snowflake and Inkdrop

Mulazzani, Simona (Illustrator)
Enchanted Lion Books 2015. 44 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9781592701865 (hardcover)
Original language: Italian
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

point of view, setting, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Inkdrop is waiting in her bottle—unctuous, pitch black and patient—for her artist to return to work and set her loose; the personified droplet longs to inhabit the colours and smells of nearby paintings. When a particularly strong gust tips Inkdrop out the window, she meets a snowflake. “‘May I?’” she asks, before the two meld into an explosion of ornate black and white: “They had endless stories to tell each other.”

Meanwhile, tucked into a cloud, Snowflake is “finally flying towards a town,” and as the cold white crystal drops to earth, he wonders at the “start of another journey” before him. When he meets the “small drop flying resolutely towards him,” he immediately wants to hug her. The two halves of this book, presenting the perspectives of the two protagonists, are printed back to front and upside down, with each flight leading to the other.

The opening Inkdrop illustrations, in the artist’s studio, include stunning all-black pages with splash-shaped cut-outs opening apertures of colour, meant to represent Inkdrop’s perspective. The art that accompanies the embrace of Inkdrop and Snowflake shows the former contributing darkly outlined cats, leaves and ladybugs, while the snowflake shares the intricate shapes of its arms. The middle, meeting pages fold out in both directions, with the text curving sideways, belonging to both. The paintings are humbly elaborate, and the language has a soft figurative touch—a drop of ink “sighing in her bottle”—that echoes the quiet, perfect meeting of ink and snow.

  •  

    Many people worry and fret over how things will be. Discuss whether it is helpful to worry.

  •  

    This story has two unique features (the book is divided in half and some pages have sections cut out.) Discuss their impact on your making meaning as you read.

  •  

    Colour plays a strong role: the ink spot is black, the snowflake white; the artist’s drawing and the circus are colourful. In pairs, discuss how colour helps define each character and object.

  •  

    Consider how this story is told from two characters’ points of view. Choose a story in which a narrator shares a personal experience. Choose another of the characters and rewrite the same story from their point of view.

  •  

    Examine the front and back covers. Go for a picture walk. Notice the two unique features (the book is divided in half and some pages have sections cut out.) Discuss their impact on your understanding as you read.

  •  

    Brainstorm and compare what you know about snowflakes and ink. 

  •  

    Compare and contrast the art styles and the use of colour on the two sides of the book.

  •  

    Consider how this story is told from two characters’ points of view. Choose a personal experience (e.g. when I dropped my pencil case in the hall). Have a classmate tell the same story from their point of view (e.g. how I fell down because people were suddenly stopping to avoid stepping on rolling pencils).

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use creativity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Science and Technology
  • Visual Arts