After school one winter day, Jacks mother told him to go out and play in the snow.
But its so cold outside, Mother! Jack said.
Put on your coat and your hat and your mittens, his mother said. You can build a snowman before your father comes home.
Im going to need a carrot for the nose, Jack said. And Ill need some things for the snowmans hat and face.
Jack got a bucket and collected everything he needed to decorate his snowman. His mother promised she would watch him build the snowman from the window.
Outside, in his front yard, Jack started with a very small ball of snow. He got on his knees and rolled the snow into a big ball. At another window, someone else was watching Jack play. It was his new neighbour Naoko. Naoko asked her mother if she could go outside and help Jack build his snowman.
Its very cold outside. Are you sure you want to go out and play? her mother asked.
Yes, Mother! Naoko said. I will wear my coat and my hat and my mittens.
Naokos mother helped her put on her winter clothes and promised to watch her from the window.
You can play until your father comes home, her mother said.
Naoko ran outside to Jacks yard and asked if she could help him finish his snowman.
Yes, please help me, Jack said. My father will be home from work very soon.
Okay. What can I do? Naoko asked.
I built my snowmans body with two snowballs. I need to roll one more for my snowmans head.
But snowmen only have two snowballs. One is for the body and one is for the head, Naoko said.
No, snowmen always have three snowballs, Jack said. I dont think I need you to help me after all.
Jack picked up some snow and made it into a small snowball. He got on his knees and rolled the snow away from Naoko to make the snowmans head.
Naoko walked into her own yard and began to build her own snowman.
I dont want to build a snowman with Jack anyway, she thought to herself. Im going to make my own.
Naoko rolled two big balls of snow and put them on top of each other. When she finished that she took off her hat and scarf and decorated the snowman. Lastly, she found some sticks and pine cones and made her snowmans eyes and mouth and arms. Her mother clapped from the window.
Jack made a hat for his snowman with his bucket. He used his mothers sewing buttons for the eyes and mouth. Lastly, he added a carrot for the snowmans nose. After he finished, Jacks mother smiled and pointed. His father was driving up the street.
Suddenly a terrible thing happened. The head fell off Jacks snowman and crashed to the ground!
Oh no! My snowman fell apart, Jack said, and my father is almost home!
Naoko heard Jacks cry and ran over to his yard to see what the problem was.
Ill help you roll another snowball, Naoko said. If we do it together we can finish it before your father gets home.
Together, Jack and Naoko rolled a new snowball. They shaped it with their mittens until it was round. Then they lifted it up onto the snowmans body and decorated it with the carrot and bucket and buttons.
We finished it just in time, Jack said. Thank you for your help.
Youre welcome. I like your snowman better, Naoko said. Mine doesnt have a nose.
Jack walked over to look at Naokos snowman. He loved the pine cone eyes and mouth and the sticks for arms, but he knew it wasnt finished. Jack ran back to his snowman and pulled the carrot out. He broke it into two pieces and gave half to Naoko.
Hurry, Jack said. Your snowman needs a nose and your father is driving up the street too.
Thank you, Naoko said.
Youre welcome, Jack said. I think our snowmen make good neighbours.
Answer the questions about the story:
1. What time of year is it in this story?
a. winter b. summer c. spring
2. Who tells Naoko she can play outside?
a. her mother b. Jack c. her father
3. Who are Jack and Naoko?
a. They are best friends. b. They are new neighbours. c. They are brother and sister.
4. What was the problem with Jacks snowman?
a. It lost its nose. b. It was too cold. c. Its head fell off.
5. What does Jack share with Naoko?
a. his window b. a carrot c. his mittens
1a, 2a, 3b, 4c, 5b