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Katy and the Big Snow

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  11,656 ratings  ·  218 reviews
Katy, a brave and untiring tractor, who pushes a bulldozer in the summer and a snowplow in the winter, makes it possible for the townspeople to do their jobs.
In 2009, we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Virginia Lee Burton's birth. As part of this celebration a glitter-cover edition of Katy and the Big Snow, complete with snowy stickers, has been created. In this e
Paperback, 40 pages
Published April 3rd 1974 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1943)
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Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,656 ratings  ·  218 reviews

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Spencer Orey
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
Really exciting story about a snowplow digging out a town after a big snow storm. The drawings are cool and twist around to show the roads and everyone finally getting moving.
It seemed the perfect time of year to read this. Katy is a big plow and she likes to work hard. She is a bight red machine and very proud of being so helpful. She has a plow on the front and they can put a snow plow on her too. Well, one day there is a wallop of a storm and it’s so deep that everyone is snowed in. No one can go anywhere.

So Katy gets out the snow plow and she plows everyone out. She saves the day slow and steady. The art uses red, green and yellow color with black and white. The
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
The more time goes by, the more books I read to my kids, the more I appreciate Virginia Lee Burton. Katy the big red bulldozer is a strong female protagonist with no need for a love interest or even a male sidekick. She just keeps on chugging, helping people, doing the job when no one else can, never giving up even when she gets tired. Before becoming a parent I wouldn't have expected anthropomorphic highway department vehicles to be kickass role models, but here we are. ...more
Mar 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of the only things I've ever found with Katy spelled with a "y". Who cares if I'm a snow plow? I'm a snow plow who saves the day! ...more
Annie ⚜️
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was able to give my son the edition I received from my 1st grade teacher Mrs. Esposito in the 1970s. He enjoys the exquisitely detailed illustrations as much as I did.
Apr 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid
I think Virginia Lee Burton is wonderful. Long-winded, but wonderful. I like the ridiculous level of illustration detail in this book (the map of the town is really out-of-control detailed and the story of the humanized snow plow that just keeps going even though she's tired and she doesn't think she can do it. File this under "I think I can" books. Ages 4-7. ...more
Dec 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teachers, parents, kids
Recommended to Relyn by: It's a childhood favorite.
Oh, I am so glad to have reread this book. I hadn't read it in years and it was wonderful. The maps were wonderful and so engaging. The details would appeal to boys and girls. The story is simple and easily accessible. But, the best part about this book is the plans I have for it. I can't wait to use it to teach a few writing mini-lessons. Her use of word placement on the page and in conjunction with pictures will be a great example to my own little book-makers. Can't wait! ...more
Katy, a brave and untiring tractor, who pushes a bulldozer in the summer and a snowplow in the winter, makes it possible for the townspeople to do their jobs.

This story was used in my "snow" storytime and we pretended to push the snow in all the parts of town mentioned- north, south, east and west. East is toward the mountains, west is toward the lake and so on, so we chugged along in those directions. It is also great to showing how much snow fell- good math tie-ins.
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
By the author of one of our favorite books, Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel! Wanted to try another Burton and she didn't disappoint. My kids loved it. A little lesson about maps and directions with a compass rose and a map of the town. A great social studies lesson as well. All my kids loved this one. ...more
Laura (Book Scrounger)
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We really liked this book here (another new one for me -- clearly I was Virginia-Lee-Burton-deprived as a child!)-- it's certainly appropriate for a New England audience. I enjoyed the extra illustrations around the border too -- they're a nice extra for children to enjoy looking at even after the reading is done. ...more
Mary Train
Jan 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I love this book...classic read aloud that still appeals to children in magical ways. It has the big snowstorm, big vehicles, a hero, a city map...what more could you ask for in kindergarten!
Mar 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a classic Kid's book. I wish I lived in the city of Geopolis. ...more
Oct 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: laurie-books
Great book on the lesson of helping.
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book for a grandmother to read with a two year old grandson who loves to snuggle.
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite children's snow books. Both my kids loved it and it is usually a big hit when read with sound effects. ...more
Betsy Tibe
Still a great winter book for kindergarten and first grade even though it was written 70 years ago!
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a cute story for kids about not giving up.
Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What a gift Virginia Lee Burton was to the world. Her warm, sincere, hopeful style of writing, even as the characters in her stories come upon hard times and their eventual success is anything but guaranteed, is like nothing else I've ever read. Virginia Lee Burton's characters are long-suffering and gentle, enthusiastic and generous, and in Katy and the Big Snow, we are introduced to an unforgettably doughty protagonist willing to put everything she has on the line to help friends in need. If ...more
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Katy is a tractor. She pushes dirt on the summer and usually rests on the winter. The highway department takes off her blade and puts a plow on. Burton describes Katy as a red crawler tractor that “could do lots of things”. The winters are usually mild and Katy is not called upon until there is a Big Snow. The story is about how the town shuts down, people are trapped, people are sick and need to get to the hospital and a house is on fire! Katy is the only one that can navigate around town, push ...more
Tim Vandenberg
Nov 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Seventy-One Years Ago! [At the time of this writing.] I just cannot believe that this amazing picture book was created in 1943, over seven DECADES ago!

"Katy and the Big Snow" is an often overlooked precursor to the hyper-detailed pictures books of the 1980's, such as the "Where's Waldo" series and the "How Things Work" books, etc.

Virginia Lee Burton does an AMAZING job creating the little town of Geoppolis (which she admits is based on Glaucester, MA) with an exquisitely laid out city map, all o
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Virginia Lee Burton is a favorite at our house. We received Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel as a gift and later Katy and the Big Snow. Burton's writing is wonderful for young children—it has a great rhythm and energy to it that makes it timeless. Katy is especially delightful because "the tougher the job the better she liked it"—she is appealing to boys and girls alike. We also have enjoyed Choo Choo, Maybelle the Cable Car, and The Little House. But I think Katy and the Big Snow might be my ...more
Jenn M
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Katy and the Big Snow is classic children's literature. I remember reading it at a child, and now my children have read it. In fact, my daughter's kindergarten read and studied it as part of the school's "Five-in-a-Row" curriculum, enjoying the book's story, as well as other elements (mechanical devices that help people do work, seasons, changes in condition due to aging).

These "classic" award-winning children's books and children's authors are always enjoyable to read...and read again, over and
Joel  Werley
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm avoiding putting children's books into my "Read books" (because anything that can be read in 10 minutes shouldn't count towards my grand total in my mind, as if anyone else is checking my stats...), despite the memories of those books being as essential as any literature I've read in my adult years.

However, I've decided that my 3 favorite picture books (excepting obvious classics like "Where the Wild Things Are" that don't need any further recommendations) from my tyke days are too worthy t
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, A Little House, and now Katy and the Big Snow...I love Virginia Burton's books. They tug at something inside that makes me feel like a kid again and sometimes draw a tear. The illustrations never fail to enchant me.

Some pictures in this book have borders lined with a variety of Katy's jobs or the vehicles used by the Highway Department. These are especially nice for little ones that can't read yet. The town map is also a great way to interact with a child; th
Dec 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: pic-books
Personifying machinery has always seemed odd to me. Tuggy the Tugboat was the first such story that I remember. I'm not even comfortable reading these to a child. A machine that thinks and has feelings is just weird. Of course, someday computerized machinery may take on emotions of their own, and I will have to rethink my stance.

That said ... Katy has admirable character traits, which I'd be happy for kids to emulate. And, I like any book with a pictorial map that kids can study.
Betsy Owens
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a cute story that shows the value of perseverance and service to others. I particularly enjoy the map on pages 6 & 7 which labels all the points of interest in the city. This would be a good book to use during a lesson on reading and creating maps. Also, throughout the book a map compass is used to give the direction that Katy is plowing.
Cara Farmer
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I think this book is so sweet and I love how the author gave Katy life. She is a little snow plow that is so full of life. Its a great book for talking about construction (which is why we read it in class) but it is also great to talk about how rewarding hard work can be. It is great and I truly enjoyed it.
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s-books
Of the other books by Burton this one was merely "okay" -- I love the other ones in her collection better. There just seems to be something missing here. A lack of connection with the character. However, the work hard ethic of the snow plow was good. I'd probably only add this to our permanent collection just to round out the series but it is not on my must have list. ...more
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How fun! I got two "I loved it!" replies when I asked how much they liked this one. I'm afraid I'm biased toward this author-- Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel, another of her books, was a favorite growing up -- so I already was primed to enjoy it! But it pleased me to find another favorite and one my kids enjoy. What a fun wintertime read. ...more
Nov 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s, fiction
Just okay for me, but my little boy loved reading about the snow plow (Katy) that saves the day. The best part is the illustrations, including a full map of the city where you can track Katy's route through the city as she helps out. ...more
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Virginia Lee Burton was an American illustrator and children's book author. Burton produced seven self-illustrated children's books. She married Boston Museum school sculptor, George Demetrios, with whom she had two sons and lived in Folly Cove, Gloucester. She died at 59.


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