Book Review

BOOK REVIEW: One Snowy Night by Nick Butterworth

– Short Review –

Nick Butterworth is someone who heavily influenced my childhood and is slowly influencing my children’s too and I’m sure in a good many years he’ll be influencing my grandchildren’s childhoods – because these books live on in the hearts and minds of their readers, pure nostalgia on the page and a story that never gets old.

One Snowy Night started it all off with this series and is now considered a classic, so what better way to celebrate 30 Years of Nick Butterworth than releasing these books in new editions. Packed with nostalgia, heartfelt storytelling, with a pure and simplistic messages, these books are what STORGY Kids would say are recommended reading for all young children – and best enjoyed cuddled up on the sofa or as a bedtime story.

One Snowy Night is a sheer masterpiece and we highly recommend it to all.

Other books you may enjoy would include Burglar Bill & Peek-a-Boo by Janet and Allan Ahlberg.

– Longer Review –

It’s been 30 years since the original book came out and HarperCollinsChildren’s are celebrating this fact in style with a new version of the book – which I am sure will go on to delight a new audience with the unforgettable story and fabulous character of Percy the park keeper. The new edition also features a wonderfully large detailed rendering of the last picture in the book – of all the creatures asleep in his house – and the best bit is that it’s a treasure hunt, as the reader is tasked to find little things hiding within this beautiful illustration.
The nostalgia this book packs is undeniable – just glimpsing the iconic cover and flicking through the pages brought back all the wonderment I felt as a child and the fact I was also enjoying this with my children who ooo’ed and ahhh’d at all the fabulous illustrations was also a very special moment too. The book itself and the story that Butterworth weaves harks back to a simpler time – and it’s this simplistic storytelling that makes this book so special. It’s about being kind, about helping others and couldn’t we all do with a lot more of that!
Nothing has changed with regards to the original artwork and I’m thrilled by this as the illustrations are as eye catching and bold as the very first time my eyes wandered over the pages as a young boy. They are timeless and beautiful, and just seeing them floods me with memories of enjoying these books with my parents, they have that simplistic quality to them that draws you in and there is also that hidden depth of things happening around the central image, things that lead the eye deeper into the story – and as previously mentioned seeing the large fold-out picture at the end of the book was a beautiful touch!
The story itself revolves around Percy the Park Keeper and a snowy night. When his friends, the animals in his park are troubled by the storm, each one approaches his house and knocks on the door to seek sanctuary within his warm cabin. Of course Percy lets them in, gives them a place to stay (even the fox, who he warns to be on his best behaviour) and Percy looks after them all. He suddenly realises that his tiny cabin is bursting at the seams. with his friends seeking a warm place to lay their heads in the winter storm that is raging outside. In essence it is a story about kindness, about friendship and it truly warms the heart – and with Christmas creeping in around the corner there is no better time to discover this classic!
One Snowy Night is a fabulously pure and heartwarming story about friendship and kindness – the illustrations are breathtaking and the overall book is a stunning example of what can be achieved in a children’s book. One Snowy Night and the Percy the Park Keeper series are classics that will continue to live long in the memory such is the innocent beauty they hold and the longevity of the deftly crafted stories Butterworth has weaved!
One Snowy Night is published by HarperCollinsChildren’s and is available here.

Nick Butterworth


Nick Butterworth is an award-winning writer and illustrator whose books have sold over 15 million copies worldwide in over 30 languages. His books including QPootle5, Albert Le Blanc, The Whisperer and the Percy the Park Keeper series have garnered critical acclaim, multiple television series and have been nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Nestle Children’s Books Prize, among others.

Reviewed by Ross Jeffery

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