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The Groundhog Day Book of Facts and Fun Hardcover – January 1, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-5 - Billin-Frye's illustrations are so engaging that readers may, at first glance, think that this is a simple picture book. However, the table of contents and densely packed pages of text tell a different story. The first chapter opens with a detailed description of an early morning scene on February 2 in Punxsutawney, PA: the crowds, the fireworks, the music, and the magical moment when the Groundhog Handler reaches into an artificial tree stump, rudely awakens furry Phil, and "listens" to his prediction. The writing sometimes succeeds at being lighthearted, but it's heavy going when the author uses words like "prognosticator," "verdict," and "groundhogeese." The high point of one chapter is the color-splashed painting of a happy, dancing crowd; a smiling man is holding aloft a puzzled groundhog that is thinking, "Why they're celebrating six more weeks of winter, I just don't know." Other chapters cover "The Reason for Seasons," facts about groundhogs, details about hibernation, the beginnings of the groundhog festival, other animals famous for predicting the weather, and directions for putting together a Groundhog Day party. Unfortunately, the information is not always clearly presented. The author also makes inscrutable decisions about which words to define and which to assume that kids will know. Teachers or parents using this book with children will need to pre-read and then provide some of their own explanations. Still, this title provides some important facts that will slake curiosity, some groan-evoking riddles, and consistently adorable illustrations. - Susan Weitz, Spencer-Van Etten Schools, Spencer, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

K-Gr. 3. Why does a groundhog seeing his shadow mean six more weeks of winter? Old explains this and more in her informative book about Groundhog Day. The book begins with an introduction to Punxsutawney Phil and shows how one groundhog started a holiday and a celebration in Pennsylvania. The book goes on to discuss the reasons seasons change (this chapter seems misplaced) and behavior, life cycle, and hibernation habits of groundhogs (aka woodchucks, whistle pigs, and marmots). There's also information about other animals around the world that perform the same function as Phil. Sprightly watercolor pictures jumping with cartoon-style groundhogs work hand in hand with the clearly stated information. Cute projects complete the package. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 11 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 6
  • Lexile Measure: 920L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807530662
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807530665
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #830,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Wendie Old began writing in high school but didn't get books published until the early 1990s. They immediately collected awards. Her series of middle school biographies each were honored with the NCSS/CBC Notable Book award from Social Studies teachers. TO FLY, THE STORY OF THE WRIGHT BROTHERS, Clarion 2002, a book for elementary school readers, won many awards -- one from all the teacher groups (except the Math teachers), Boston Globe - Horn Book Honor Book, ALA Notable Children's Book 2003, and was on many state reading lists.

She enjoys being a children's librarian in a public library. When she discovered the lack of information about Groundhog Day -- she wrote a book about that. (See if the groundhog near you is mentioned in that book. Most of them are.)

She writes picture books as well. Her first published picture book, Stacy Had a Little Sister, is still being used as bibliotherapy with children who have had siblings die of S.I.D.S.

Her other picture books were published under the pen name -- C.W. Bowie. She and two friends wrote them together and then combined their names to come up with C.W. Bowie. She's the "W" part of the name.

Her blog at wendieold.blogspot.com is called Wendie's Wanderings and it does exactly that. It rambles on about the writing life, happenings at her library (September is Spider Month, yikes!), book reviews, her grandchildren, and her many adventures while traveling and promoting her books.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A super book for explaining Groundhog Day. A super book to have in a school Library or on a Teacher's library shelf. I highly recomend the book to others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Thompson on March 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was a very cleverly written books full of facts. Alittle too wordy for 3 year olds but can be used a little more each year they are older.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My young children enjoyed this fun book! The rhyming words are cute and the pictures are very engaging. I'm pleased very pleased and would recommend this book to other moms.
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By C. Williams on February 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cute book, I ordered it for a gift and it didn't arrive on time for Groundhog Day so that was disappointing, but very cute.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for my husband to help the class that he volunteers with, to understand more about this "event" He liked it!
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