The Illustrated History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein

November 12th, 2018 Kimberly Review 35 Comments

12th Nov
The Illustrated History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein
The Illustrated History of the Snowman
by Bob Eckstein
Genres: Non-Fiction
Pages: 216
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

A thoroughly entertaining exploration, this book travels back in time to shed light on the snowman's enigmatic past -- from the present day, in which the snowman reigns as the King of Kitsch, to the Dark Ages, with the creation of the very first snowman. Eckstein's curiosity began playfully enough, but soon snowballed into a (mostly) earnest quest of chasing Frosty around the world, into museums and libraries, and seeking out the advice of leading historians and scholars. The result is a riveting history that reaches back through centuries and across cultures -- sweeping from fifteenth-century Italian snowballs to eighteenth-century Russian ice sculptures to the regrettable "white-trash years" (1975-2000). The snowman is not just part of our childhood memories, but is an integral part of our world culture, appearing -- much like a frozen Forrest Gump -- alongside dignitaries and celebrities during momentous events. Again and again, the snowman pops up in rare prints, paintings, early movies, advertising and, over the past century, in every art form imaginable. And the jolly snowman -- ostensibly as pure as the driven snow -- also harbors a dark past full of political intrigue, sex, and violence. With over two hundred illustrations, The Illustrated History of the Snowman is a truly original winter classic -- smart, surprisingly enlightening, and quite simply the coolest book ever.

Do you love Snowmen? Do you know someone who adores them? Then, The Illustrated History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein is the perfect coffee-table book to keep or give. Filled with iconic and historical photos of the snowman throughout history I couldn’t help but smile as I read this entertaining and enlightening book.


Beautiful postcard from Belgium, CA. 1910

“Postcards [were] the most responsible for the beginning of a new American icon: the snowman The door was open and opportunity knocked. Postcards needed illustrations that made you laugh and cry and provoked thought. Snowmen were a blank slate of emotions and easy to illustrate. As they say, snow sells.”

As I read through The Illustrated History of the Snowman, I couldn’t help but reminiscent about my childhood experiences with the Snowman from moments around the holidays to building my own snowman. It also got me thinking. How many items do you have that depict a snowman? There is a whole section about Ads, WWII and more where snowman were used to sell everything from autos to food. I found the political cartoons, images of soldiers beside snowmen and even the banning of making people from snow fascinating.

Frosty the Snowman.jpg

Frosty the Snowman

“Frosty was based on initial drawings by MAD magazine cartoonist Paul Coker, Jr., who is still asked by children to draw Frosty, which, he says ‘luckily is just three circles.

Frosty permanently transformed the snowman’s image into the homogenized figure we see now in gift shops. It was Frosty who would become the most famous snowman, undoing Burl Ives’s masterful performance as the high-brow classy snowman in Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Original art created for [first edition] in 2006, courtesy of the artist, Paul Coker, Jr.”


The book is available in Hardcover or Kindle Within it’s pages you’ll learn about festivals, see the world’s largest snowman and discover other tidbits as you explore the origins and first pictures of a snowman.

It breaks the chapters up into easy section allowing you to explore topics that interest you. It’s an easy read with plenty of photos and I worked my way through it one evening. The Illustrated History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein is the perfect gift for the holiday season. Come learn when the snowman first got legs!

Do you know someone who adores them? Then, The Illustrated History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein is the perfect coffee-table book to keep or give. #book #holiday #snowman #magic Click To Tweet
Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

35 Responses to “The Illustrated History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein”

  1. Anne

    This sounds more interesting and certainly more REAL than all the holiday romances I have been reading. Anne – Books of My Heart

  2. Tracy Terry

    OH MY GOODNESS, I have to have a copy of this. A very different read for this year’s Seasonal Reading Challenge, thank you for featuring what sounds like a delightful read.

  3. Ailyn Koay

    my kids are a little too unfamiliar with snow to even think about snow man. They watch it on tv but that’s all it is