Under the Snow

Under the Snow by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Constance R. Bergum

After our blizzard on Wednesday, this book seems like a very appropriate choice as we dig ourselves out of 14 inches of snow.

Find out what animals and insects are hidden under the snow as they try to survive the winter.  Ladybugs packed into a gap in a stone wall and  butterflies that are active in the winter may surprise readers.  The cozy burrow of a chipmunk and the sleeping woodchuck deep underground will charm.  Then readers get to look below the ice on the pond to turtles, fish, frogs and newts to see the different ways they act in winter. 

Stewart keeps her explanations of the animals simple and straightforward enough to use with preschoolers.  I would have liked to have seen an appendix with more information on the animals themselves.  Bergum’s watercolor illustrations capture the animals and their natural surroundings with great skill.  They offer close-ups when they are needed and still manage to evoke the larger environment of field, forest and pond. 

A very nice scientific look at animals in winter, this will be welcome in preschool classrooms or for winter story times looking for nonfiction that is very readable.  Appropriate for ages 3-6.

Reviewed from copy received from publisher.

Also reviewed by 100 Scope Notes.