Anne Fine

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Carnegie Medal

Children's Laureate 2001-2003

Carnegie Medal 1989, 1992

Whitbread Award 1993, 1996

Guardian Fiction Award 1990


The cover of 'Let it Snow!'

When two families get caught in a snowstorm on Christmas eve, it's a disaster! They are all quite sure that Christmas is ruined.

Can they work together and turn things around?

And will they become firm friends filled with Christmas cheer?

It tells a heart-warming tale of two animal families who become unlikely friends by sharing a special meal.

Anne Fine explains:

 I hate working under pressure, so can't for the life of me think what made me agree to write the picture book to accompany the latest Waitrose Christmas advert, with a deadline already looming.

Part of the attraction, of course, was that for every book sold in Waitrose, a donation of 50p would be made to The Trussell Trust charity, who now run a network of over 400 food banks. We certainly need those more than I need a tension-free life!

I'm also terrible at keeping secrets, and for three months I wasn't able to tell anyone even what little I knew about the chosen theme. I knew only that a group of people find themselves snowed up in a distant pub; and because I live where I do, I thought immediately of the (fairly) nearby Tan Hill Inn, set high in the Yorkshire Dales, and a perfect setting for Kerry Hyndman (the illustrator's) deliciously inviting snowy landscapes.

I chose two animal families, the Hares and the Squirrels. They wouldn't be natural mixers, either by background or temperament. And their children get off to a very bad start. But the spirit of Christmas prevails - as it somehow so often does over surrounding stresses - and my story ends, as does the advert, with everyone sharing a warm and companionable meal.

(If you want a more jaundiced view of this particular festivity, in my more usual style, go to The More the Merrier. (In the USA it's called The True Story of Christmas, and that's because, in my view, that is what it is.)

Let it Snow! is a book by Anne Fine with illustrations by Kerry Hyndman, inspired by the Waitrose television advertisement for Christmas 2017. It is now available from Amazon UK.