Each month, the Chancellor selects a children’s book that she feels is inspirational and informative for the students, parents, and staff members who make up the City’s public schools. For past book selections, review the “Book of the Month” category right here on The Morning Bell.

The Most Perfect Snowman
By Chris Britt
(Balzer + Bray, 2016)

y648December’s Book of the Month, The Most Perfect Snowman, is a heartwarming tale
about the importance of giving, which resonates this time of year. As the story opens, we see a snowman named Drift alone in the woods. Built fast and forgotten, Drift has only two skinny stick arms, and eyes and a small mouth made of coal. The well-dressed snowmen tease him and exclude him from their games and dances. Shuffling through the snow by himself, Drift dreams of having a colorful hat, scarf, and mittens of his own. But most of all, he longs for a pointy, orange carrot nose.

One day, three children walk by and complete Drift’s outfit, offering him a hat, scarf, mittens, and even a carrot for his nose. A deliriously happy Drift plays with the children all afternoon. However, when a blizzard blows through, Drift has to make a decision. Will he keep the colorful winter garments and carrot nose, or will he give them away to save a tiny bunny’s life? Of course, as you might have guessed, Drift makes the generous choice, and in so doing, becomes, “the most perfect snowman of all.”

During the holiday season, people from all cultures tend to open their hearts to those less fortunate, and often, we give away possessions we no longer need or want. While this is admirable, I encourage you to be like the perfect snowman and give an essential part of yourself. Give your time to a cause you believe in. Befriend a neighbor who lives alone. Share your skills, or buy and donate food, new household items, toys, or clothes to an organization in your community. Reach out to the people in your community who are isolated. Introduce one of your favorite books to colleagues, friends, and children who may be having a tough time during this time of the year. And give extra support to community members both inside and outside of school who have difficulty speaking English or feel out of place during meetings and gatherings.

Instead of making New Year’s resolutions we invariably fail to keep, we should direct our attention to the people in our lives who are in need of kindness, and do something that validates their worth. Receiving is wonderful, but it is through giving that we become the most perfect people we can be.

Posted by Carmen Fariña

Former Chancellor of NYC Schools, lifelong educator, native Brooklynite, and proud abuela.

One Comment

  1. […] For the last 14 of the designated 34 minutes, the entire school met in P.S. 51’s gymnasium to read together. Dr. Hong chose, The Most Perfect Snowman, Chancellor Carmen Farina’s Book of the Month in December. […]