by Bob Eckstein
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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
“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!
[bctt tweet=”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” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
This looks like a fun read. I’ve never actually made a snowman. But I did watch Frosty as a kid.
What?!? I hope you get to experience it just once!
Wow! I’m getting this!
I hope you enjoy it.
Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
Oh how interesting! I thought this was a children’s picture book at first glance but now I’m even more interested.
Nope it’s a history book! And it’s cool.
It always amazes me when I think of those who have never seen snow, made a snow angel, or built a snowman. Glad I grew up with it, but I do not miss it.
Agreed, but we have all been exposed to the iconic snowman in ads, stores, decorations and more.
Oh my gosh This looks like such a fun book. I love travels down memory lane. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
It was fun seeing the snowman’s history.
This sounds more interesting and certainly more REAL than all the holiday romances I have been reading. Anne – Books of My Heart
Yes, it is fun, but also tied to historic events, traditions and more.
I love Frosty! After reading your post, I can’t get the tune out of my head!!!
Thumpety thump thump, thumpety thump thump
Look at Frosty go ….
Man I hope my library gets a copy. I’d love to look through it.
I hope they do Barb!
Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf
What a neat book! This would be a great Christmas holiday read, thanks for sharing!
I found the history interesting. Thanks Monika!
Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms
This seems like a really neat book, Kimberly. I think my kids would appreciate an historical look at the snowman. Maybe Santa will bring a copy for them. 😉
It was fun and I imagine they could share some fun tidbits in school.
I do love snowmen Kim and am very interested in the book which is now on my letter to Santa 😉
My favorite is the animated music only The Snowman a 1982 Fantasy short film
Thanks for this post
It was really interesting to learn the history and how different cultures depicted him.
That’s pretty cool. I do know someone who’d get a kick out of this. 🙂
Cool. I had a few peeps in mind too.
Oh that’s interesting! Cute cover!
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.
It was neat and I learned a little something 🙂
I would love to see an actual snowman one of these days. This sounds fascinating, thanks for sharing.
Oh my, I hope you do Nadene!
How clever! It’s a perfect sort of read for the season too.
Yes, and a neat gift.
Those illustrations are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing this with us. I want to get a copy and look at it now.
The books is full of them Ali. So many cool tidbits from war time ads to traditions.
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
I could see that.