The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

What can be said about The Snowman that hasn’t already been said? It is as much a part of popular Christmas tradition as Slade or that episode of Father Ted where the priests get lost in the lingerie department. Raymond Briggs is certainly fed up with talking about it, but thankfully in 2014 a first edition annotated by the author was sold at auction, providing some humorous insight into the thoughts and processes of children’s literature’s other favourite grinch.

‘Blue and white striped pyjamas! Pre-historic, I’m told. For me, pyjamas have to be blue and white stripes otherwise they are not pyjamas.’


‘Dressing gown! Youngsters now wear ONESIES, whatever they are.’

‘In the film they made him put the teeth in. I didn’t like that at all.’

‘The Snowman is astounded by the miracle of television, as at one time, long ago, we all were.’

’Building a snowman takes hours. An interviewer once asked me if we could build a snowman together so I could be photographed with it. He said it would only take us 20 MINUTES!’


‘My own house and garden, much simplified and idealised. No stuff in the garden – seats, bird-feeders, bird baths, sheds etc. Saves work.’


‘Fast running seems to turn into flying quite naturally. Snowmen are made of snow which floats down from the sky, so going up there again seems natural.’

‘I’ve only recently noticed, after 30 odd years, that the melted snowman almost makes a face – the three lumps of coal resemble eyes and a nose. I wish it wasn’t there.’

The Snowman is published by Puffin books




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