Snowy Nessa

Please help me find Father North

Children - Animals
33 Pages
Reviewed on 11/10/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Joan Dee Wilson, writer and illustrator, draws inspiration from being a mother and grandmother, blending her fascination of birds and concern for habitats into colorful stories for children. She enjoys all four seasons and hikes outdoors with her husband.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

Snowy Nessa by Joan Dee Wilson is a heartwarming children's picture book about a young snowy owl named Nessa who embarks on an adventurous journey to find the legendary figure, Father North. Nessa is determined to seek answers to her questions about the world and the mysteries of the North Pole. Her journey is filled with experiences, including learning to fly and encountering various creatures in the Arctic. Eventually, she is rescued by Father North, who cares for her and helps her on her quest. Together, they observe and protect the wildlife in the Arctic and beyond. Wilson is also the book's illustrator, using full-spread artwork in a vibrant palette to breathe life into Nessa and the breathtaking scenes of the Arctic.

Snowy Nessa by Joan Dee Wilson is a delightful tale written entirely in rhyme that emphasizes courage, curiosity, and the importance of discovering the truth, making it an engaging and educational read for young readers. My daughters absolutely loved it, especially the illustrations, which left their fingers lingering on the page for a few moments longer than they might on another picture book. The descriptive elements are exceptional. I loved the line, “In the darkness of day,” which is both succinct and quite beautiful. I am certain that when we next visit Northern Sweden, the girls will remember that "When Snowy owls return to nest, one just might shed a soft white feather. If you find it, keep it! And remember, watch for Snowies in the sky. They’re very quiet passing by." Overall, this is a lovely story, encouraging readers to cherish nature's wonders and to pay attention to the world around them. It conveys a powerful message about destiny, appreciating the beauty of the natural world, and the importance of observation and conservation. Very highly recommended.

Philip Van Heusen

Snowy owls, reindeer, lemmings, wolves, and mice are all characters in the drama of life that is played out daily in the Arctic Circle. Joan Dee Wilson wrote Snowy Nessa to share the cycle of life with young readers in grades K through 4. Nessa, a snowy owl, wants to find answers to life’s questions from Father North and heads north when all her friends are flying south for the winter. Join Nessa as she has one adventure after the other: learning to fly, barely escaping danger, being friends with a reindeer, and being rescued from certain death by someone she believes might be Father North. When Nessa returns home, she has a wildlife tag that will help scientists learn more about snowy owls.

Snowy owls are raptors and Nessa is a great representative of the species. Joan Dee Wilson wrote this children’s picture book to share the joy of birds with children everywhere. As a grandmother, she wants children to know how important birds are and that their natural habitat needs protection. This story is about survival and life in the wild. Your children will love the beautiful illustrations by Joan and her words are easy to read and understand. Be sure to talk with your children about conservation and how to be a friend to wildlife—even in your own backyard. You may need to help your younger children understand the reality of raptors eating other animals as well as the cycle of life. I recommend this book as an introduction to creatures found in the Arctic Circle.

Kristine Zimmerman

Snowy Nessa by Joan Dee Wilson is set in the cold, snowy Arctic. Nessa is a young Snowy Owl who is a little different than the rest of the young owlets. The other owls are getting ready to migrate south, but not Nessa. She has so many questions, and she has heard that Father North, who lives at the North Pole, might have the answers. As the other owls head out on their journey to warmer places, Nessa hops her way to the North. She encounters reindeer, snowy foxes, weasels, and lemmings on her path. Will she find Father North, or is he just a legend as the other owls claim? Will Nessa find the answers to her many questions?

Snowy Nessa introduces the many creatures who live in the Arctic. Nessa is an inquisitive and self-reliant owlet. Despite being teased and bullied she exhibits a strong sense of perseverance. Kids will be rooting for Nessa to follow her dreams. The illustrations, also by Joan Dee Wilson, capture the cold and beauty of the Arctic brilliantly. I especially loved seeing the reindeer with their massive antlers and the steam rising from their nostrils. Kids will enjoy seeing a landscape and wildlife that is far removed from their familiar backyards. Introducing children to places that are new and different broadens their appreciation for the vastness of the world around them. Snowy Nessa is a charming and funny narrator who will inspire kids to seek out amazing adventures in their surroundings. I enjoyed the concept and the book.