It’s paperback publication day for this lovely book so I’m re-sharing my review.



“Every language has its own words for the feather-like flakes that come from the sky. In Japanese we find Yuki-onna – a ‘snow woman’ who drifts through the frosted land. In Icelandic falls Hundslappadrifa – ‘big as a dog’s paw’. And in Maori we meet Huka-rere – ‘one of the children of rain and wind’. From mountain tops and frozen seas to city parks and desert hills, writer and Arctic traveller Nancy Campbell digs deep into the meanings of fifty words for snow. Under her gaze, each of these linguistic snow crystals offers a whole world of myth and story.

Available  from: Hive WaterstonesAmazon

My Review

I love snow, but because I’ve always lived in Jersey in the Channel Islands, the most southerly part of the British Isles, it rarely snows. However, when it does snow I’m like a little kid and can’t wait to get out in it!

I’ve learnt so many new words and phrases from around the world, whilst dipping in and out of this collection. Some of my favourite discoveries are:

Yuki-onna the Japanese word for snow woman.

Kunstschnee, the German word for artistic snow which has a whole industry built around it.

Chetrum, the Korean word for first snow and the romance attributed to it.

Xue qui the Chinese for snowball, that includes a wonderful anecdote about Robert Capa the famous photographer.

I could go on, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. It’s such a beautiful book, just look at that cover 😍

I definitely think it would make a wonderful Christmas present for the non-fiction lover in your life.


About The Author

Nancy Campbell is an award-winning writer, described as ‘deft, dangerous and dazzling’ by the former Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy and whose writing has been inspired by the polar regions. Her travels in the Arctic resulted in several projects responding to the environment; The Library of Ice: Readings in a Cold Climate was longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2019; Disco Bay, shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2016 and How to Say ‘I Love You’ in Greenlandic received the Birgit Skiöld Award 2015. In In 2020 she was the recipient of the Royal Geographical Society’s Ness Award for her published work on the polar regions. She is currently a Literature Fellow at Internationales Künstlerhaus Villa Concordia in Germany. Follow Nancy via her website and Twitter