I do know that it is only the beginning of November, I promise that I do. And, I know that technically, this means that it is still very much autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. But right at this moment, as I sit at my desk facing the living room windows and do the clickety-clackety thing on my computer keyboard, while the baby naps and the husband studies and the big girl searches for Waldo, right now, it is snowing outside. Just a little sprinkle of the fluffy, big flakes (the kind that don't stick), but snow all the same. Therefore, I vote that we all indulge me a little bit and make a little foray into the world of winter themed picture books today.
Under the Snow, by Melissa Stewart, is actually a perfect picture book for both late autumn and early winter, because more than being just an inventory of which creatures are doing what out there in the wide world during snowy weather, it is an introduction to the basics of hibernation. Who does it, where they do it, how they do it. Stewart herself is both a biologist and a science journalist, and this knowledge of animal life together with a background in writing about it results in a picture book that is both an enjoyable read and a great introduction to basic scientific facts. Indeed, paired with bright and textured watercolor illustrations by Constance R. Bergum, Stewart's descriptions of various animals and their winter survival strategies are well-composed little teasers that would make great starting points for inspiring deeper investigations into the lives of the animals that they discuss.
Through the exploration of different habitats and their animal residents, Stewart gives the reader a compelling peek into the winter workings of the natural world, and it is one that will both satisfy and pique curiosity in small and big people alike. If you are feeling at all ready to broach the subject of the coming winter at story time at your house, this book would be an excellent place to begin.
As promised, I'm going to run Alphabet Glue specials here and there all month long in celebration of Picture Book Month. This week, all issues are buy-two-get-one-free. When you purchase any two issues, just leave a "note to seller" mentioning the third that you would like me to email to you for free. This deal applies to the multi-issue bundles as well and is good through Saturday 11/10!