HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Frosty the Snow Man
Author: Annie North Bedford
Illustrator: Corinne Malvern
Publisher: Barnes and Noble Books, republished in 1997
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
Disclosure: Any books donated for review purposes are in turn donated to a library. No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.
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Bedford, Annie North. Frosty the Snow Man (published in 1951 by Golden Press; republished in 1997 by Barnes and Noble Books). “Frosty the Snowman, was a jolly happy soul, With a corncob pipe and a button nose, and two eyes made of coal.” Frosty was first introduced in “Frosty the Snowman,” a popular song written by Walter “Jack” Rollins and Steve Nelson, and first recorded by Gene Autry and the Cass County Boys in 1950 after the success of Autry’s recording of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” the previous year in search of another seasonal hit. The song is about a snowman built by some children who comes to life by the placement of a magical hat. He shares some playful adventures with the children before he has to “hurry on his way.” The children are saddened by Frosty’s leaving, but he reassures them by exclaiming, “I’ll be back again some day.” Some versions of the song change the last line to “on Christmas Day!”
Frosty was subsequently adapted to other media including a popular television special. In 1969, the Rankin-Bass company produced a thirty-minute animated television special entitled Frosty the Snowman that featured the voices of comedians Jimmy Durante as narrator and Jackie Vernon as the title character. This was a story based on the discovery of Frosty the Snowman from the song. Several sequels were produced, including Frosty’s Winter Wonderland, based upon the song “Winter Wonderland,” in 1976, in which Frosty got married, and Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July in 1979, filmed in stop-motion animation, both by Rankin-Bass. A derivative work, Frosty Returns, was produced by CBS and broadcast on in 1992. This was followed by The Legend of Frosty the Snowman in 2005, a straight-to-video film which was produced by Classic Media, the current rights holder for the original Rankin/Bass special.
The 1950 adaptation of Frosty’s story in book form was made by Annie North Bedford for Golden Books, in which the children create Frosty the Snow Man, who comes to life when they put a top hat on his head, and have great fun with him in the snow. Every day, the children meet up with their new friend and play games. One afternoon, Frosty and the children head to town to see the stores when a warm breeze snatches Frosty’s hat from his head and sends him chasing after it. Unable to follow Frosty until the traffic stops, the children lose sight of him and have to ask a policeman where he went. Most everyone knows what happened. Some have objected that the ending is rather sudden and poorly worded. Others have opined that it is “too vintage” for today’s children. However, I feel that it simply reflects the ease and innocence of an earlier day and would argue that Frosty’s disappearance at the end just adds an element of mystery. Golden Press issued a board book edition in 1977. We checked the book out of the library for our younger son Jeremy as a seasonally related book to use for extra practice when he was learning to read.