Little General and the Giant Snowflake (Hardcover)
Author: Matthea Harvey
Illustrator: Elizabeth Zechel
Publisher: Tin House Books (2009)
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 written by Matthea Harvey and illustrated by Elizabeth Zechel, 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.