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Over and Under the Snow Hardcover – October 19, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gliding through the woodland on skis, a girl and her father watch for signs of animals. A squirrel’s tail flashes red as he disappears down a crack in the snow. A fox steps into view. Guided by her father, the child becomes increasingly aware of “the secret kingdom beneath the snow,” where voles pass through tunnels, bullfrogs sleep in mud, and a queen bee hibernates in the ground. A few appended pages offer more information about the animals mentioned and recommend books and websites for further reading. Neal’s artwork, mixed media with digital elements, uses the white snow to isolate images of the people, animals, and trees within the natural setting. Cutaway views show what is happening beneath the snow as well as on its surface. Reminiscent of linocut prints, the illustrations have a retro look that suits Messner’s precisely worded, effective story. A good choice for winter reading, this quiet but eye-opening picture book could heighten a child’s awareness of the natural world. Preschool-Grade 3. --Carolyn Phelan

Review

"Throughout the book, Neal's crisp, clean mixed-media illustrations cleverly provide above- and belowground views, and Messner's back material will educate children about the subnivean zone and animal adaptations" - School Library Journal

"This book depicting beauty in nature is a gem... Anyone looking for a picture book that also teaches science will love this title" - Library Media Connecton, Starred Review

Marion Vannett Ridgway Book Award Winner: Illustration 2012

"[A] lovely study of the ways animals spend the winter." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Utterly charming, and informative, to boot." - Kirkus Reviews

"Beautifully rendered" - The Horn Book Magazine, starred review

"Messner packs much information into the serene wintry landscape, beautifully captured in Neal's stunning retro-style illustrations." - The New York Times

"Kate Messier... weaves a nature lesson" - USA Today
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 700L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 44 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (October 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811867846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811867849
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 12.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you are looking for a book to help your young child learn about the winter-time natural world, look no further. Over and Under the Snow gives the reader a unique glimpse of what goes on with some of our favorite creatures when the ground is covered with snow. It combines all the charm and readability of a picture book with great basic concepts of natural science, capped off with illustrations that are nostalgic and perfectly convey a winter's day in the forest.

The story is told by a father and daughter who are skiing through the forest. They catch glimpses of squirrels, hares and foxes, and discuss things like bees, voles and chipmunks who are seen under the snow beneath their feet. Perhaps my favorite line is about bullfrogs; "Under the snow, fat bullfrogs snooze. They dream of sun warmed days, back when they had tails". This is a perfect jumping off point for discussions about hibernation, what animals eat in the winter, and even the life cycle. It's a lot packed into a picture book that never loses it's great read aloud flow.

The author's note taught me about the subnivean zone, how it's created and how so many animals need it to survive. She then provided additional information about each animal and how they adapt to the winter. Finish up with a guide to further reading about animals in winter, and you get a surprisingly complete resource that kids will find to be engaging and teachers will find to be useful in planning their winter themed curriculum. Great for preschool through early elementary, or anyone who doesn't know what subnivean means.
Don't miss it!
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Format: Hardcover
Snowy banks filled with hidden life hide within the pages of Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner. As a young girl and her father ski across the fields of packed snow she discovers that there's more to the winter than simple white wintry landscapes. From bears to mice to bullfrogs the number of animals hiding beneath the surface are almost too many to count. Follow along on this young girl's journey into a magically real world hiding just under your feet.

Over and Under the Snow has been a delightful story to share with not only my four year old son, but my two year old daughter as well. They both love discover the animals hidden beneath the layers of snow and then flipping to the back of the book to learn more about them in the animal guide listing. For my son it's definitely all about the learning aspect of it. He's in a stage where he wants to soak up every little bit of knowledge he can about things and adding the magic of the snow made it even that much more interesting for him. As for my daughter, she just loves the fun of finding all the animals hidden in the snow. Now, if only we lived near the snow again!

Kate Messner clearly is an author who loves nature and sharing that love through brilliantly written books for children of all ages. In Over and Under the Snow Messner brings to life the hidden world resting just beneath our feet during the snowy wintry months. Begin sharing and teaching about these fantastic creatures at an early age by introducing the magical journey of a little girl and her father. Our family has loved discovering our "favorite" animals at winter time and thanks to Messner's additional reading sources that are listed in the back of the book our discoveries will continue happening. Over and Under the Snow is an excellent addition to any young reader's library and one that will be loved by the entire family!

My original review was posted at There's A Book.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a great read aloud even for the upper elementary students. I would have read this wonderfully written book to my fourth graders to model beautiful language and then I would have followed up with having them write about a time in the snow. Perfect reading/writing connection book to share with first through fifth grade students. I taught for 35 years and though now retired, as an author I read many picture books to see what's out there. And this one shines!
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Format: Hardcover
In this quiet picture book, with lovely illustrations, a young girl and her father cross-country ski through the woods, discovering the secret life of winter that lies beneath the snow. Children, ages 4-7, will like to explore the winter woods.
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Format: Hardcover
Kate's story is educational, fun, and peaceful. The illustrations are beautiful and simple, and there's a sense of calm along with a little excitement to see what is going on under the snow. As a girl, I often cross country skied in the Adirondacks, and this book brought back so many memories. Truly a treasure for any child, and especially for those who have spent time outdoors in the Northeast winter.
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Format: Hardcover
“Over the snow I glide, past beech trees rattling leftover leaves and strong, silent pines that stretch to the sky. On a high branch, a great horned owl keeps watch. Under the snow, a tiny shrew dodges columns of ice; it follows a cool tunnel along the moss, out of sight.” So goes this unique picture book following a child and her father as they cross-country ski through the woods in the middle of winter. The pair makes observations about the world they see around them, and inferences about the world beneath them, or the subnivean zone, as Messner later explains in the author’s note. From scratching voles and snoozing bullfrogs to gnawing beavers and hungry foxes, these lyrical pages explore the secret activities of animals going about their business despite the harsh cold of snow.

The art here is a major component of what makes this book stand apart from others in its category. On the artist’s website, www.redsilas.com, visitors can read a back and forth discussion between the author and Christopher Silas Neal, in which they talk about the entire process of creating the illustrations for this book. The team even consulted a nature expert to ensure the accuracy of the animal depictions! The final product is a mix of drawing, painting, print making, and digital art that creates mystery and a sense of serenity throughout the pages.

Teachers will adore this book - it practically gives away its own curriculum. Messner has included not only a detailed explanation of the subnivean zone, but a glossary providing a paragraph with information about each animal she writes about and a Further Reading section containing related books and websites for a deeper dive. Did you know that only queen bumblebees hibernate in the soil and they can produce their own antifreeze if temperatures drop too low? That’s just one of the facts you’ll learn by reading the poetry contained in Over and Under The Snow.
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