serving up more winter

Kate Messner's Over and Under the Snow, illustrated by Silas Neal, is one of many lovely books about winter which I've had the pleasure of reading this winter; not only a fun picture book, Over and Under the Snow is an informative one too (I would put this in the category with Dowson's North). I loved that Messner cleverly masked a mini science lesson with a great picture book; the daughter learning about winter during a cross country ski trip with her dad. The daughter and the audience learn about the "secret kingdom," what scientists call the subnivean zone--a layer between the snow and the ground--a world of activity and bustle under the snow; how animals hide from the cold and predators, how predators hunt out their food in the winter.

Neal's use of muted winter colors for the scenery: whites, pale blues, nature browns, allow the reader to observe the colors of animals on the fringe of the pages, and also let the audience focus on the action of the father/daughter duo.

I really enjoyed this book and think it would be a great aid to any lesson about winter animals and their habitats.

Ages: Preschool and Up

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