Primary Genre(s): Children’s Picture Book
Published: 1 June 1985 by Annick Press
My Format: ebook via Overdrive
Would I recommend it: No
Commission Link: Buy Thomas’ Snowsuit
My rating: ★★☆☆☆
Synopsis from Goodreads
Thomas refuses to wear his new snowsuit despite the pleas of his mother, his teacher, and even his principal.
This is the third Munsch children’s book I have reviewed this month. I loved The Paper Bag Princess and I generally liked Something Good. Today’s book is just okay for me. Spoilers ahead… it is hard to review a picture book without revealing plot details. Here are my pros and cons for Thomas’ Snowsuit:
- As I have said in my previous reviews, the illustrations (by Michael Martchenko) are fun and colorful and kids will love them!
- At one point, Thomas and his teacher are basically wrestling with each other – the teacher trying to get Thomas in his snowsuit and Thomas trying to avoid putting it on. Ultimately, after the struggle, both teacher and Thomas both end up in just their underclothes. I have to admit that I giggled a bit when when that happened mostly because I didn’t expect it and the illustrations are silly. Kids will probably find this terribly amusing, but… see Con #2.
- I really dislike how this book glorifies misbehavior. Instead of using this book as an opportunity to teach this young man that he needs to do what his mother, teacher and principal ask him to do, instead the book turns the whole thing into a farcical situation where the boy ultimately does what he wants and he makes the adults look incredibly stupid. Will kids like that? Absolutely! Will they learn something from it? Probably… and it will be the wrong thing to learn.
- While the whole clothing debacle was at least initially amusing, as an adult in the year 2020 I did question the appropriateness of this in a children’s picture book.
- Thomas doesn’t have a problem at all with putting on his snowsuit. When his friends ask him to come outside and play, he happily dons his snowsuit by himself and runs outside. Thomas’ problem is that he doesn’t like being told what to do.
- I didn’t like the “fighting” with the adults and the references to adults picking Thomas up by one hand. Kids may think that is funny, and the illustrations definitely help make it humorous, but ugh… doing that makes that kind of behavior appear acceptable!
- The ending was weird. Instead of correcting Thomas’ behavior, the principal quits his job the next day and moves to Arizona where snowsuits aren’t required. Huh?
I get that Munsch writes silly, over-the-top situations and I get that he isn’t writing for adults. However, this book was just a little too much for me. I fully understand that my perspective on this is conditioned by how the world is now versus how it was in 1986; however, I don’t think we should ever have children’s books where violence or physical handling of children is made light of in any situation. I also wish Munsch would have at least added some kind of lesson for Thomas, instead of ultimately rewarding bad behavior by letting him do whatever he pleases.
If you would like to read this book and form your own opinion, please consider purchasing through this link: Buy Thomas’ Snowsuit. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
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(image from Goodreads)