The Snow Merchant

Illustrator: Chris Riddell

Binding: Paperback

Imprint: Andersen Press

1 Other Related Editions

Age 9+

Fantasy & Magical Realism Adventure Stories General Fiction

This new edition has artwork from award-winning illustrator Chris Riddell.

Lettie Peppercorn lives in a house on stilts near the wind-swept coast of Albion. Nothing incredible has ever happened to her, until one winter's night, when the night the Snow Merchant comes. He claims to be an alchemist - the greatest that ever lived - and in his suitcase, he carries his newest invention: snow.

'A tale of self discovery, family and inventive and accomplished debut' - Independent on Sunday

'A delightful debut...full of action and invention' - The Sunday Times

'A germ of JK and a pinch of Pullman' - TES


Sam Gayton (Author)
Sam Gayton lives in Margate. In 2009 he completed the Writing for Young People MA at Bath Spa University and not long after published his first book, The Snow Merchant. He loves American novels, Italian food and the English countryside. When he's not writing, he likes playing old board games, strumming his guitar and joining as many rock bands as possible (currently at seven).

Chris Riddell (Illustrator)
Chris Riddell is an acclaimed artist of children’s books and a political cartoonist for the Observer. Amongst other titles, Chris illustrates the Ottoline young fiction series and the Goth Girl series, as well as working closely with Paul Stewart on the Edge Chronicles and Wyrmeweald. Children's Laureate from 2015-2017, he has won many awards for his work, including the Nestlé Gold Award, the UNESCO Award for Something Else and the rare honour of three Kate Greenaway Medals.


Old-fashioned storytelling with a rich seam of alchemy and adventure.


A tale of self discovery, family and friendship…an inventive and accomplished debut.

Independent on Sunday

Original and gripping with its unpredictable plot and inventive ideas.


A delightful debut…full of action and invention.

Sunday Times

An amazing adventure!

National Geographic Kids

A germ of JK and a pinch of Pullman.


An extraordinarily fresh piece of story-telling.

Books for Keeps, Best Books for Christmas

A very promising debut novel from Gayton, full of fairytale and fun, which should appeal to Lemony Snicket fans.

Daily Mail

Fantastical tale full of extraordinary characters about the invention of snow.


A quirky and very inventive debut; filled with exotic characters and quite a lot of charm.

Editor's Choice, Children's Books Ireland

The Snow Merchant is exhilarating, entertaining and original, bursting with ideas.

Books for Keeps, Book of the Month

Beautifully old-fashioned storytelling weaves a hugely imaginative tale of alchemy, family and snow in this quirky debut novel.

The Bookseller

One of our key recommends for festive reading. A perfect book to share as a family.

The Bookseller

A gripping debut.


A most fantastical story, not dissimilar to Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. One can look forward to more books graced by Tomislav Tomic’s illustrations.


A future classic.

Slightly Foxed

Wildly imaginative fantasy adventure.


This story is truly original, rich in imagination and charm, and it will captivate readers well above its apparent target group. It’s curious, really: how can a book about snow leave such a lasting impression of warmth behind?

The BookBag, 5 stars

A fast-paced tale of alchemy, adventure and magic.

Country Life, Best Children's Books for Christmas

The Snow Merchant is astounding in its imagination and creativity. I don’t think it will be long before he becomes one of the most treasured children’s authors.


The most imaginative tale I’ve read in a very long time.

Literary Loves

Unique and original (5 stars)

Waterstone's Read and Review

A modern day fairy tale (with) all the classic ingredients which go to make great story-telling – a strong storyline, heroes and villains, a touch of humour and a heartwarming theme.

Parents in Touch

A beautiful modern day fairytale . . . I absolutely loved this story! (5 stars)

Waterstone's Read and Review

I would recommend this to anyone who likes to read out loud to their children – this is just perfect for curling up together and sharing a story (5 stars)

Waterstone's Read and Review

Made me want to turn every page. I was very disappointed when it was all over . . .Thoroughly recommended. (5 stars)

Waterstone's Read and Review

Wonderfully quirky and fast-paced; just what you would hope for in a good fantasy! (5 stars)

Waterstone's Read and Review

I liked this book…it’s interesting and enticing. I would recommend the story to ten to thirteen year-olds.

Waterstones Read and Review

Fantastic characters that come to life off the page. (I) will be buying this for lots of family members for Christmas!

Waterstones Read and Review

Grandparents, this is the book to give your grandkids for Christmas – especially if they’re coming to stay!

Waterstones Read and Review

A fantastic fantasy tale… totally absorbing. A great read at any age.

Waterstones Read and Review

This book allows you to lose yourself in a world that is just a little different from our own…(it) reminded me of the ‘Northern Lights’ trilogy.

Waterstones Read and Review

A complex yet easy to follow story, The Snow Merchant is interspersed with stunning illustrations, beautiful fonts and chapter headings. A gorgeously written and produced novel, this lovely tale by Sam Gayton can do no wrong in my eyes.

Keepcalmandreadabook Blog

An inspiration to all budding writers.

Books for Keeps, Jeremy Becker, Year 6 Pupil

Old-fashioned storytelling with a rich seam of alchemy and adventure.


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