This week's snow and ice storm may be inconvenient, but it is nothing compared to the thirty-six hours of relentless snow that hit the city in March, 1888! The Blizzard of '88 is generally considered to be the worst storm ever to hit the Northeastern seaboard.
Linda Oatman High's City of Snow: The Great Blizzard of 1888 is a book to read for the illustrations, not for the text. In fact, I ended up simply paraphrasing. The free and often awkward verse goes on and on, and you might not get to the end of the book unless you start narrating the pictures yourself. It's a shame because it is a great subject for a picture book. That said, we thoroughly enjoyed studying and discussing Laura Francesca Filippucci's detailed illustrations of a city under siege. They have an old-fashioned feel to them and rather put me in mind of Currier and Ives. It's easy to use the illustrations as talking points, both as to how such a storm would have affected the lives of city dwellers, but also how life was different in 1888. Anyone for milk delivery by horse-pulled wagon? Not so easy in the middle of a blizzard.
And, like any good picture book based on real events, there are historical notes at the end.
I recommend getting this from the library during the snowy season, you'll like the illustrations, and who knows, maybe you might even like the verse. What do I know?
Try these books: Terrible Storm (picture book about the storm in rural Massachusetts), Blizzard: The Storm that Changed America (loads of photos), The Children's Blizzard (high school/adult --CORRECTION, this is about the tragic January 1888 Blizzard in the midwest)
Read about the impact of the storm on the Subway.
Visit Virtual NY for some oral histories.
Other NYC Winter Storms in history.
Big Kid says: I wish it would snow for three days today.
Little Kid says: Boat!