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Spread Joy with Nancy Viau!

Hello, everyone! We're extremely excited to have the incredibly talented Nancy Viau on here with us today. Nancy is the author of 10+ books, including First Snow (illustrated by Talitha Shipman). First Snow follows a group of children as they pull on their boots and hats, and rush outside to play in freshly fallen snow - a perfect read for this wintery season. Want to know more about Nancy, the books she's written, PLUS want a chance to win a Picture Book critique OR one of her amazing books? Read on...

Q: Hi, Nancy. Thanks so much for joining #SeasonsOfKidLit! I’m thrilled to have you and talk all about your seasonal book, First Snow. Before we get started, can you share a little about yourself with the readers?

A: Thank you for asking me to be a part of the Spread Joy Holiday Event!

I wrote and illustrated my first book, Shaggy the Dog, at age six. I put 10 copies in my Radio Flyer wagon and skipped around the neighborhood on my first book tour. Every copy sold and I quickly created a second edition (not quite as neat as the original because I was in a hurry to make the big bucks), and that edition also sold out! I decided I was done being an author. After all, it wasn’t much of a challenge; I was already rich (I had $2), and quite famous. And so…I did not return to writing until 35+ years later. At that point, I thought it might be fun to write about the antics of my four kids. I wrote Op-Ed essays for major newspapers and national magazines, and then finally poetry, fiction, and articles for children’s magazines. My first published picture book was a simple rhyming story, Look What I Can Do! and from then on, I was in love with the rollercoaster ride known as children’s book publishing.

Q: What an adorable story, Nancy! I hope we all can read Shaggy the Dog one day. ;)

Your book, First Snow, shines a light on how magical the first snowfall of the year truly is. What inspired you to write this book?

A: I grew up in the country where a snowstorm would lock us down for days. At one point, my brothers had to dig a tunnel from the back door to our yard. That tunnel was a portal to an enchanting place. Everything was frozen, fluffy, and intensely white. That memory and others were my inspiration for First Snow but honestly, I still go crazy when the flurries fall. While everyone else is complaining about the poor weather, I’m putting on snow boots and running outside. On the flip side, I also love summer, so if you like the warmth rather than the cold, read Today Is a Beach Day! If you’d rather be on another planet entirely, check out my 2022 sci-fi release, Pruett and Soo!

Q: What are some fun snow-themed events that take place in your book?

A: Every kid looks forward to those universal adventures that take place on a snowy day, and most are in First Snow. For example, watching the first flakes fall, suiting up, feeling the excitement, sledding, making igloos and snow angels, and of course, participating in a friendly snowball fight. Finally, there is that cozy time at the end of the day when the snowsuits are drying, and hot chocolate is on the menu.

Q: Talitha Shipman does a beautiful job illustrating First Snow. What are some of your favorite spreads from the book?

A: She did a fantastic job! It must be so hard to illustrate snow on white paper and leave the reader with images that evoke wonder. One favorite spread shows the children sticking out their tongues to catch snowflakes. The joy on their faces is evident.

A second favorite is at the end of the book when the kids are tucked in bed, gazing out the window: Drowsy dreamers. Tucked in tight. Ponder snowfall…overnight. This illustration is just so, so sweet.

Q: What makes your book the perfect holiday, or anytime read?

A: There are many books about holiday celebrations. First Snow does not highlight a particular holiday so it’s suitable for all children. Even if readers have never experienced snow, the imagery and new vocabulary, along with the illustrations, offer a way to expand a reader’s world. Speaking of expanding young minds, on my website, there are educational resources (STEM, language arts, crafts, and more) that go along with First Snow and my other books. Download a FREE copy today!

This truly sounds like the perfect read, Nancy! Thanks so much for sharing it with us. We can't wait to check it out!

Q: How would you like to Spread Joy this holiday season?

A: I will spread joy by giving a non-rhyming picture book critique OR a choice of any one of my titles to one lucky reader.

What an amazing gift, Nancy. Thanks SO much!

Giveaway Details: To enter to win this wonderful giveaway, comment below and let Nancy know why you can't wait to read her book, and which gift you're interested in. The winner will be chosen on or about December 16th!

Note: books will be shipped in the US only.

Reminder, those who comment on every post will be eligible to win (1) of (5) RYS Speedpasses or a special book package!

About Nancy Viau

NANCY VIAUis the author of the following picture books: Pruett and Soo, Today Is aBeach Day!, First Snow, City Street Beat, Storm Song, Look What I Can Do! and Splish, Splash! First to Last (April 2023). She is also the author of several middle-grade novels, including Samantha Hansen Has Rocks In Her Head,Something Is Bugging Samantha Hansen,Just One Thing! and Beauty and Bernice. A former teacher and librarian, and forever a kid-at-heart, Viau loves to visit schools, libraries, and bookstores across the U.S. to present assembly programs and writing workshops.

For more about Nancy, you can follow her here:

To purchase Nancy's books, or to leave a review for them, click here.


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Hi Nancy. First Snow is right up my alley. I can enjoy all the wonder and playfulness of snow without having to shovel my driveway. All your books look so engaging on your website and I would especially love to win one of your middle grade novels. I'm always looking for mentor texts in my writing.


Christina Shawn
Christina Shawn
Dec 12, 2022

What a fun, beautiful book! Snow is magical. We had a snow tunnel too - it's a very special memory. I would love the opportunity for a critique. Thank you!


Thank you for sharing how you took your own childhood wonder at the first snow and turned it into this lovely rhyming book. I'm sure kids who live in snowy places will enjoy this book. And those who have never seen snow will be excited to one day experience all the fun and playfulness of their own first snow!


Katie Brandyberry
Katie Brandyberry
Dec 12, 2022

Thanks for the fantastic interview! I love the story about your brothers digging out a snow tunnel from that major snow storm during your childhood. What wonderful picture book inspiration! I cannot wait to add your story to our at-home library (we live in Denver where we LOVE the snow). I would love the opportunity for a critique! Thanks!


I had a friend in elementary school who had moved from southern California to Boston.

We were in class when giant snowflakes floated by.

Her eyes lit up as she eagerly waited for recess.

I’ll never forget watching her delight as she twirled in the snow and caught her first snowflake.

When I read your words and look at the spreads, I know First Snow has captured the magic of my friend’s first snowfall.

This book is a treasure, and I look forward to sharing it with the little ones in my life!

I would deeply appreciate a picture book critique.

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