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Groundhog Day! Paperback – August 15, 2007
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Where did Groundhog Day come from, and what is a groundhog, anyway? These are questions that Gail Gibbons competently answers in this fascinating and edifying audiobook. The holiday (if you can call it that) is a rather unimportant one, so Gibbons stuffs the book with information on its evolution, starting with rituals that accompanied the coming of spring in ancient times. Facts about groundhogs and the ceremonies surrounding the famous Punxsutawney Phil are included, too. Qarie Marshall's clear and pleasant voice brings Gibbons's text to life against gentle background music. The pacing suits the text well. VERDICT Fun, interesting, and enlightening. A good choice for libraries. Best used with the book so listeners can enjoy and learn from the illustrations as well as the text. ["Pair this informative and entertaining title with one of the many fictional picture books available on this subject for a fun and fact-filled lesson": SLJ 3/07 review of the Holiday House book.]—Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
When you come right down to it, Groundhog Day isn't much of a holiday, so it's no surprise that this book needed a little more than just history and customs to make it viable. Gibbons presents the basics, but she also offers information on groundhogs to bolster the text. The book begins with several pictures of a groundhog peeking out of its burrow as text explains shadows and the old adage about six more weeks of winter. There's also a substantial piece about how, in times past, hibernating animals were watched for clues about the weather. Less successful is vaguely worded information; for example, this description of spring festivals: "about 1,500 years ago, people in Europe began lighting candles in the early spring for a new religious celebration." Gibbons' familiar artwork extends the text, especially in a two-page spread that offers an underground view of a groundhog's multichamber burrow. A brief look at how the holiday is celebrated and a page of additional facts conclude the book. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.