From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2 The hibernation train, fashioned of hollow logs, is filled with all sorts of animals, including bears, snakes, chipmunks, frogs, skunks, hedgehogs, and mice. On its way to the station, it hits a few snags crowded conditions, leakage from a stream, and a lack of snacks and pillows. As the snow falls heavier and heavier, the bears in charge manage to get everyone squared away just as the train enters hibernation station. The track is made of tree branches, and the season is clearly heading from fall into winter. The enjoyable rhyming text provides the perfect platform for the wonderful illustrations that accompany it. Cyrus blends realistic depictions of the animals with just the right anthropomorphic touches they are all clad in pajamas. The best example is the snails complete with slime trails wearing pj's, while the snakes slithering in their nightwear is quite amusing. An author's note on hibernation is included. Good for storytime or one-on-one reading. Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
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This colorful picture book imagines hibernation as a train of hollow logs that runs through the forest on tracks of sticks and gathers all the animals for their winter sleep. Big and small, pajama-clad critters carry their bedding into the logs and make themselves comfy, while two bears, the train’s engineer and conductor, respond to a variety of complaints and technical difficulties. Eventually, as snow begins to fall, the animals settle down and fall asleep. Written in rhymed couplets, the text tells the story in a satisfying way and sets a good pace for young children. The fanciful illustrations, pencil drawings with digitally added colors and textures, vary in their effectiveness, but the best are excellent, and Cyrus’ portrayal of the sleepy animals is completely charming. In an appended note, Meadows discusses hibernation, “deep sleepers,” and “light sleepers.” Teachers looking for books on hibernation will find this an engaging, fanciful read-aloud choice for their classrooms. Preschool-Grade 2. --Carolyn Phelan