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Under the Snow Hardcover – September 1, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2—Stewart takes readers on an informative journey, describing how snakes, voles, spotted salamanders, carp, beavers, and red-spotted newts, among other animals, "spend their days" during the winter months. Fascinating facts—a wood frog can freeze solid on the forest floor and survive—make the spare text intriguing and fun. Beautiful paintings in muted watercolors convey the creatures in their habitats and the quiet of the season. This pleasing addition is a great read-aloud for units on winter and animal habitats.—Michele Sealander, Hamburg School, NJ END
... words and art combine to give readers glimpses underneath the snow--divulging secrets of survival ... This beautiful picture book will complement the science curriculum and also makes for a great read aloud.
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If you look closely, you can see "dozens of ladybugs" tightly packed into a triangular gap in the stone wall. Down at the base of the wall a yellow snake is curled into a spot all by his lonesome. Beneath the snow a vole, who looks like a chubby little mouse, tunnels through the snow to find a "young tree" and then "slowly strip[s] off layers of bark" to eat. The little chipmunk is nestled up in his nest of leaves and every few days wakens to nibble on his bounty of "nuts and seeds stored in its burrow." There are other creatures that are hidden in the landscape. Where are the butterflies, the centipedes, the bumblebees, the frogs, the caterpillars, the salamanders . . . where are they hiding until spring?
This book is a wonderful example of just how beautiful and interesting animal science can be. The artwork is magnificent and extremely appealing. We get to see a quaint and quiet little village and the activities of a small family. Next we are privileged to visit the hidden world of nature's creatures beneath the snowy landscape. On the cover the reader can get a glimpse of the red-spotted newts, who "whiz and whirl just below the ice." Both the text and the illustrations mesh perfectly to create a magical winter wonderland. This depiction of the hidden world of nature will be a perfect addition to your homeschool or classroom shelves!
Written by Melissa Steward and illustrated by Constance R. Bergum, Under the Snow chronicles the extraordinary lives of animals, insects and fish among frozen ground, tucked within rocks and under icy water.
I had no idea that ladybugs pack themselves into stone walls or that a wood frog can freeze SOLID...and still survive. Talk about fascinating! Not only does Under the Snow explain what goes on during the winter in different habitats, but it also instills a sense of wonder and respect for how various creatures cope (and thrive) during harsh winter conditions.
I highly recommend Under the Snow for all homeschooling families and children's libraries. It's one of those rare books that melds science with beautiful art and lyrical prose...a true treasure.
-- Janet Boyer, author of Back in Time Tarot
For instance the author says:
"Under the snow lies a hidden world."
A wood frog nestles in scattered leaves on the forest floor. It can freeze solid and still survive.
Buried in the mud, a frog and a turtle wait out the winter. They never move, and they barely breathe.
Below the ground a chipmunk snoozes for a few days at a time. Between naps it snacks on the nuts and seeds stored in its burrow.
And there are many more amazing things under the snow and ice for you to see and read about in this amazing book.
The illustrations are full page color illustrations and with the author's writing it makes for a fun way to learn about the winter habitats of some interesting critters.
This book would be a great book for your child. It would also be nice for the classroom or school library. Now I am a grandmother and I have a special bookshelf for my grandkids when they come to visit. So I will definitely add UNDER THE SNOW to Mamaw's Bookshelf.
I highly recommend this book.
I received a free copy of this book from Peachtree Publishers for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.