In this compelling tale for children and adults alike, the poet Matthea Harvey collaborates with artist Elizabeth Zechel to create a powerful, resonant allegory for these times of violent military solutions to global problems.
In this compelling tale, there is a little general who heads an army called the Realists. Every day he and his troops practice battle formations while the Dreamers, the opposing army, play strange, peaceful games. The little general's soldiers include Sergeant Samantha, who is very tall and wishes the general would pay more attention to her, and Lieutenant Lyle, an imaginative fellow who always seems to get into trouble. One day the little general sees a giant snowflake hovering in his garden and realizes he is suffering from a disease of the imagination. He is ashamed and pretends not to see it, but eventually he discovers that everyone in his army has a similar problem. What magical message is the snowflake trying to bring to the general, and to the world? In a time of violent military solutions to global problems, this illustrated allegory by a leading poet has a particular, powerful resonance.
About the Author
Matthea Harvey is the author of Modern Life (Graywolf, 2007),Little Breathing Machine (Graywolf, 2004), and Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form (Alice James Books, 2000).Modern Life was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award. She is the winner of the prestigious Kingsly Tufts Poetry Prize for 2009. Harvey has served as the poetry editor of American Letters & Commentary, as well as a contributing editor to jubilatand BOMB. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence and lives in Brooklyn.
Elizabeth Zechel is the author and illustrator of Mouse in the Baby's Room (Lark Books) and the illustrator of Bubby's Homemade Pies by Jen Bervin and Ron Silver (Wiley & Sons). She has also created illustrations and art for the Poetry Project Newsletter and the Joyce Dance Theater, along with cover art for Tremble and Shine by poet Todd Colby (Soft Skull Press) and The To Sound by poet Eric Baus (Verse Press).
"Both Zechel's whimsical grayscale drawings and Harvey's lovely, straightforward prose are characterized by an understated sense of humor that should give the book crossover potential." Publishers Weekly
"This charming little book is totally unexpected and charming. Its beautiful drawings are a perfect pairing for this unique find." Salt Lake City's Deseret News
"The Little General and the Giant Snowflake is a fun read that teaches about imagination and how having an overactive on isn't a bad thing."The Midwest Book Review
"Utterly charmingI love this little general and the strange and wondrous and precise world he lives in: the Thursday Jacket, the Alphabetize the Attic! (laughed out loud there), the disease books, the very touching moment with the snowflake being revealed as proportional to denial. I'm so glad you did it. And the drawings are just perfectlove the bookshelves, the dancing Lyle, the expressions. I can't wait to have my own copy all bound and beautiful."Aimee Bender, author of Willful Creatures
"Luckily for readers, poet Matthea Harvey has a delightful denouement that is sure to satisfy everyoneno matter which side of the realism/dreamer spectrum they happen to fall . . . the hushed black and white drawings by Elizabeth Zechel render this a cozy short read suitable for early-to-dark evenings by the fire." The Minneapolis Star Tribune
This story is full of imagination and takes you whole-heartily into the world of dreams where anything is possible.”Portland Book Review
"For families looking for a charming bedtime story or a new tradition, The Little General and the Giant Snowflake fills the need admirably."Blogcritics