In chapter 8, Maycomb experiences a rare snowfall, and the Finch children enjoy their day off because school is canceled. Jem comes up with the idea to build a snowman using the thin layer of snow from their yard and Miss Maudie's yard. Jem and Scout use baskets to gather as much snow as they can, and Jem begins constructing a snowman using a mixture of dirt and snow. Scout initially comments that Jem's snowman resembles Stephanie Crawford standing with her hands on her hips. Jem proceeds to add more dirt to the belly and the snowman ends up resembling their overweight neighbor, Mr. Avery. Scout mentions that Jem succeeded in making Mr. Avery "look cross" and when Atticus returns from work, he tells Jem,
"Son, I can’t tell what you’re going to be—an engineer, a lawyer, or a portrait painter. You’ve perpetrated a near libel here in the front yard. We’ve got to disguise this fellow" (Lee, 69).
Jem then races across the yard, grabs Miss Maudie's hedge-clippers and sunhat, and puts them on the snowman. In the end, Jem makes his snowman resemble Miss Maudie, who yells at him from across the yard after seeing his creation.