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Literature / Treasures Of The Snow

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Treasures Of The Snow is a novel written by Patricia St. John in 1950.

The main characters are a girl named Annette Burnier and a boy named Lucien Morel. They're best friends but they fight sometimes. On Christmas, Annette's mother gives birth to a boy, whom Annette names Dani, but the mother dies after he's born. Five years pass. But after a series of misunderstandings, Lucien is angry at Dani and threatens to throw his pet kitten, Klaus, into a ravine. But Klaus bites him, and Dani falls into the ravine after him. He's alive, but his leg is so severely injured he can't bend it, and has to use crutches for the rest of his life. Annette is furious, so much so that whenever Lucien tries to do something nice for them, she deliberately ruins everything he makes. Neither children are happy, and have to forgive each other sometime.


The main message of the book is forgiveness, which, in this day and age, really needs to be preached more often. The story was adapted into a live-action film in 1980, and a very popular (in Europe) 1983 anime from the World Masterpiece Theater titled Alps Stories: My Annette.

This work contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Monsieur Nicholas is a Cool Teacher in the anime, a very far cry from his book persona where he outright tells Lucien's crimes to the class and encourages the kids to pick on him.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the book, Lucien's hair is described as being black, but in the anime it's a reddish maroon color.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The anime expands on the scenes where Dani goes to a special doctor to get his leg healed into eight whole episodes detailing the whole process, whereas in the book it was just a couple chapters long, and it was mostly glossed over.
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  • Adaptation Species Change: Klaus is a female white kitten in the books, but in the anime he's a male ermine for some reason.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Because of what Lucien did and due to Annette telling everyone her side of the story, Lucien becomes a pariah. This is very much toned down in the anime.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Dani, Annette's little brother, is a bit of a crybaby but for the most part he means well.
    • Lucien is considered this by his older sister Marie, who finds his laziness to be problematic.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: In the anime, Peguin gives one to Lucien in order to stop him from attempting suicide, when talking him out of it didn't work.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The European opening for the anime is mostly cheerful and upbeat, and the lyrics seem to promise a show about children playing happily together in the mountains. The actual series is dramatic.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Annette is a full-on Knight Templar Big Brother towards Dani and does't forgive easily whoever hurts her little brother.
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  • Book Dumb: Lucien isn't very good at academics.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Lucien makes a wooden sculpture of Noah's ark as an apology gift for Dani, but it was thrown by Annette and later found by Dani. Annette gives it to Monsieur Nicholas as a substitute for Lucien's wooden horse carving that was supposed to be presented at the competition.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Monsieur Peguin mentions he has two sons, one of whom is a doctor. When Lucien finds out about a doctor who can heal broken bones like Dani's injury, he goes to find him despite the danger. The doctor turns out to be Peguin's son.
  • Children Are Innocent: Unlike his sister, Dani holds no grudge against Lucien for the accident. He's just as nice as Annette is resentful.
  • Cool Old Lady: In the anime, there's Annette's Great Aunt Claude Martha. Not only is she the most understanding and rational person in the entire series, she actually knows how stupid Annette and Lucien are behaving toward each other and gently calls Annette out on her grudge. Not only that, she's especially kind and understanding when Annette confesses she breaks Lucien's wooden horse carving. Not only that, she understands that Lucien didn't hurt Dani on purpose, unlike Annette, who believes he did.
  • Determinator: Lucien in the anime when he tries to find the doctor who can cure Dani's leg. Watch episode 40 to see it in action.
  • Disappeared Dad: Lucien's father died when Lucien was around two years old, leaving his debts to his family.
  • Dub Name Change: Some in the anime.
    • In the French dub, Lucien is called Julien, Dani is called Denis, and Klaus is called Noel.
    • In the Spanish dub, Annette is called Ana.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Lucien's older sister Marie is kind, hardworking, does her chores, works hard at her job, and is generally nice when she wants to be, whereas Lucien starts out lazy, rude, cowardly, mean-spirited, balks at the idea of helping his family and doing chores, and frequently makes bad decisions. Marie often scolds him for his bad behavior, though this gets better after Lucien is wracked with guilt over what he did to Dani.
  • Genki Girl: Annette is very cheerful and tomboyish, much to the chagrin of her mother and great aunt. She becomes much less cheerful after her brother's accident.
  • Happily Failed Suicide: In the anime, Lucien thinks about taking his own life. The old man in the woods, Peguin, catches him and convinces him not to go through with it, even if it involved an Armor-Piercing Slap.
  • Hollywood Genetics: In the anime, Annette and her brother are both blonde, even if they have a brown-haired father and their Missing Mom was a redhead.
  • Ill Girl: Annette's mother was this, and because of Dani's birth putting a great strain on her body, she died.
  • Missing Mom: Annette's mother dies after Dani is born due to having a weak constitution.
  • Must Make Amends: Lucien, at any cost, even if his attempts are constantly put down by Annette's hatred towards him.
  • Never Live It Down: In-universe. Annette hates Lucien so much she wants to make his life miserable, never to let him forget about what he did to Dani. She gets better.
  • Promoted to Parent: Early in the anime after Dani is born, Annette has to take care of him, which involved making a lot of sacrifices. Thankfully, this didn't last long, as her father invited his aunt to help out.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: After the accident with Dani's leg, Annette holds an intense grudge against Lucien and sabotages all of his attempts to make up with her, so much so that she breaks all of the wood carvings he works hard on out of spite. At one point, it almost drives him to suicide had he not been talked out of it by Peguin.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Annette becomes more bitter, spiteful, and resentful towards Lucien as the story goes on. She gets better near the end.
  • Train-Station Goodbye: In the anime, Franz says goodbye to his friends due to his father being transferred in Lausanne for work.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: When Lucien is angry one day, he threatens Dani by threatening to throw Klaus over a ravine. When the repercussions hit him hard, Annette is very quick to call him out on it and decide she hates him forever so he can never forget his crime.

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