Review: Snow Angel, Sand Angel

As I impatiently wait for the first snow in my new city, I want to share a beautiful picture book with you all today that celebrates winter in Hawaii. Snow Angel, Sand Angel by Lois-Ann Yamanaka and Ashley Lukashevsky is a beautiful story about home, family, and heritage that touches on climate science.

Title: Snow Angel, Sand Angel
Author: Lois-Ann Yamanaka
Illustrator: Ashley Lukashevsky
Publisher: Make Me A World
Published: January 4, 2021
Format: Picture Book

Following a young Hawaiian girl named Claire who is disappointed with her winter experience, Snow Angel, Sand Angel is a story about blooming where you are planted. Because she lives on a beach, Claire feels disconnected from the way winter is often portrayed in the media, so her father brings their family to the top of Mauna Kea to see three day old snow. However, Claire is disappointed when it doesn’t align with her big expectations.

As the year comes to a close, Claire visits the beach with her family and tries all the activities from their trip on the mountain at the beach; building a snowman from sand, making sand angels, and throwing sandballs. Claire comes to realize she doesn’t need the traditional fluffy snow of a holiday card to enjoy her winter, because winter doesn’t look the same everywhere.

I have to admit, growing up on the Gulf Coast I am very familiar with Claire’s feelings of missing out on the “traditional” winter experience. And to be honest, I always assumed children in Hawaii had the same warm winter experience as I did. Not until I read this book did I realize that Hawaii is actually home to 10 of the world’s 14 climate zones, and that there is actually snow on the big island.

The illustrations are absolutely fantastic. Fans of Antiracist Baby will be pleased to find Ashley Lukashevsky’s signature style present on every single page. I especially appreciated the way she captures the beauty of Hawaii’s diverse climates, from the snow covered lava fields to the painted triggerfish in the sea.

You can order your own copy of Snow Angel, Sand Angel at, Amazon, or wherever you purchase books. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Thank you so much to Make Me A World and Blue Slip Media for providing me with a review copy of Snow Angel, Sand Angel.

About the Author:

Lois-Ann Yamanaka was born and raised in Hawai’i, where this story takes place. The author of many acclaimed novels including Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers and Saturday Night at the Pahala Theatre, and the winner of a Pushcart Prize, Lois-Ann initially followed in parents’ footsteps and became a teacher—when she realized, as she was teaching children to write poetry, that she could learn to write creatively, too. Snow Angel, Sand Angel is based on some of the longings for snow she experienced as a kid.

About The Illustrator:

Ashley Lukashevsky is an illustrator and visual artist who uses illustration and art as a tool to strengthen social movements against systemic racism and sexism. Before moving to illustration full-time, she was the art director at KINDLAND and the social impact designer at LA2050, an initiative to create a positive shared future for all Angelenos. Learn more at her website or follow her on Instagram @ASHLUKADRAWS.

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