Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review: The Snowbirds by Jim Fitzsimmons

Title: The Snowbirds
Author: Jim Fitzsimmons
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: March 28 2015
Source: Troubador Publishing

Book Description via Goodreads:

In a small Japanese mountain village, young Shoji enters an ice carving competition. He soon finds he has a rival in Orochi, another boy in the village, who tries to sabotage Shoji’s entry, but with the help of his family Shoji creates a most beautiful Snowbird.

When the other ice carvings are revealed they discover that Orochi has stolen Shoji’s idea and has also carved an equally beautiful Snowbird. The judges cannot decide the winner of the competition so they announce that the result will be declared the next morning.

During the night Jack Frost discovers the two Snowbirds and thinks one of them will make an ideal companion for his Grandfather Frost, the Snow King. At the same time Shoji, anxious for the safety of his Snowbird, sneaks out of his house and meets Jack Frost who explains his plan. Shoji agrees to let him have his Snowbird, but they are both interrupted by the arrival of Orochi who demands payment in return for his.

Jack Frost brings the Snowbirds to life and tells them they must travel to the North Pole where his Grandfather will choose one of them to be his companion. On their journey they meet different characters and encounter many difficulties until they both finally arrive, but which one will be chosen? Jack Frost has a cunning idea to help his Grandfather decide…

The Snowbirds is a magical tale that will be enjoyed by children from the age of seven. In the style of a full length novel, it will help the younger reader progress to more challenging literature, while providing a thrilling read for those who are older.



I was really excited to read this book. I really like books that involve Japanese themes and culture. I also really enjoy fantasy. Plus on top of that, my father was (in his prime) a competitive ice carver. So I thought that this would be one that I loved. I enjoyed it well enough, but overall it was a really average read for me.

I really liked the fantasy elements and how they were blended into the story. I also rather liked the writing style. It was very pretty and it flowed well to me, but it seemed a bit displaced. This book is for children, and the main character is a child as well. It came off as very adult- I don't know any children who would think or speak like this.

This book was clearly written as a moral story, which is fine. But for me, this whole moral of being selfless was waaaay too prominent. It was blunt and forced in the reading, as opposed to letting the story unwrap the lesson to be learned from the story. It was hammering, to see the point of the story get across.

The cover is absolutely gorgeous as well, and I think it is a fairly good representation of the story within its pages.

This wasn't a bad book by any means, but it's not one that I'd read again. I don't have children, so I can't be a proper judge of how this story is received, but I think it may lend itself well to being read aloud and not for them to read on their own.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Is this children's literature? Maybe that's why the moral lesson was heavy handed?

    1. It is children's literature, but it was heavy even for that. It bluntly said "This is the moral you should learn" multiple times. It was weird to me.