Just One Flake

by Travis Jonker (Author)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Just One Flake is a hilarious celebration of wintertime, curiosity, and outdoor play in this author-illustrated picture book debut from acclaimed creator and elementary school librarian Travis Jonker.

It's snowing outside! Liam rushes out into the squall, determined to catch one perfect snowflake. He tries any number of tricks to complete his mission, but each time he is thwarted. He sticks out his tongue and looks up . . . nope. He builds a snowman, climbing up to get a little closer to the snow . . . still nope. He runs around the yard--tongue still out--because faster is better, right? Wrong! Nothing seems to work. Until, in a final leap of faith, he catches that one flake . . . in a way he never expected. And the snowflake itself is pretty unexpected too.

From librarian and picture book creator Travis Jonker comes a hilarious and satisfying story all about outdoor play and the natural world's stunning surprises.

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$17.09 $18.99

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

This solo debut from Jonker (Blue Floats Away) sets up its premise with a knockout cover: a pale-skinned child, whose beanie-clad head is tilted back at a 90-degree angle, extends a bright red tongue to catch a hovering snowflake. Inside, boldly graphic brush and digital cartooning with muddy, watercolor-like washes follows the child, named Liam, through several unsuccessful snow-catching strategies, including a tongue-out chase that sends him headfirst into a snow drift. Succinct first-person text invites readers in from the get-go, as Liam articulates an unwavering self-determination ("I'm not going back inside until I do it") then suffers setbacks ("It's worrrrrking...Not working"). Just when it seems that Liam and a snowflake will never connect, one falls upon Liam's green mitten, and the child's eyes widen in astonishment at the flake's beautiful six-armed symmetry, which holds for a marvelous four-panel moment before melting. Back inside, and post-hot chocolate, Liam is inspired to create a flurry of paper snowflakes--suggesting that fulfilling the spirit, rather than the letter, of a quest can garner significant rewards. Ages 4-8. Agent: Stephen Barbara, InkWell Management. (Oct.)

Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian and the creator of 100 Scope Notes, a kidlit blog hosted by School Library Journal. Jonker is the author of the picture books Blue Floats Away and The Very Last Castle. Just One Flake is his author-illustrator debut. He lives with his wife and two children in Zeeland, Michigan.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Harry N. Abrams
Publication date
October 20, 2023
BISAC categories
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV051000 - Juvenile Fiction | Imagination & Play
JUV039090 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | New Experience
JUV009100 - Juvenile Fiction | Concepts | Seasons
JUV032080 - Juvenile Fiction | Sports & Recreation | Winter Sports
JUV029020 - Juvenile Fiction | Nature & the Natural World | Weather
JUV008110 - Juvenile Fiction | Comics & Graphic Novels | Humorous
Library of Congress categories
Picture books

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