"After the flowers are gone, the snowflakes fall. Flake after flake after flake..."
So begins Snowflakes Fall, a new children's book by Patricia MacLachlan, the author of the classic Sarah, Plain and Tall.
MacLachlan created the book with illustrator Steven Kellogg, a 35-year Sandy Hook resident, in honor of those lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"I felt personally depressed when the tragedy occurred, and the impact it had on the town I love," Kellogg said. "It's a tragedy that happened to childhood everywhere."
"It was a very big event in his life," MacLachlan said. She used the emblem of snowflakes as an inspiration for the picture book. "It's about loss and renewal and memory," she said. "And there's joy in it, too."
Full of images of kids playing and building in the snow, Snowflakes Fall is being released by Random House in time for the holiday season. It portrays, according to its publisher, "life's natural cycle: its beauty, its joy, and its sorrow. Together, the words and pictures offer the promise of renewal that can be found in our lives—snowflakes fall, and return again as raindrops so that flowers can grow."
And the book has found fans already among town officials, who featured the book on the Town of Newtown's web site. It's not an official endorsement — but one official said employees thought the book deserved to be showcased.
Snowflakes Fall will be on sale Oct. 29, and can be ordered through Random House Kids. Random House says it has made a donation to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund in memory of Sandy Hook and Newtown, and will be donating 25,000 new books to the national literacy organization First Book, "in the community’s honor and in support of children everywhere."