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Over and Under the Snow Hardcover – October 19, 2011
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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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
"Beautifully rendered" - The Horn Book Magazine, 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
"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
"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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THEN I found "Over and Under the Snow." This book is actually about animal behavior in winter (not preparing for winter during autumn). The animals tunnel and eat under the snow, footprints reveal where animals wondered or slept above ground, predators pounce through the snow to catch prey, and others hibernate till spring. The back of the book has further details on the animals.
My only complaint is that the father and daughter have very different skin tones. It makes the father look ghostly and not alive in comparison to the daughter. This was not a big enough issue to lose the book a star.