3.5 stars Children’s
I’m on the fence on this one. This is a sweet, slow story which might not capture the attention of some children (like my young grandchildren) but I liked that it actually shows how animals live in winter. This might be a good picture book for older readers who are looking for information on animals or a good bedtime story but my little readers didn’t care for it when I read it to them.
The story is told from the point of view of a young boy who is snow-skiing with his father out on the fresh-fallen snow. Quietly they are alone, using hand-poles and navigating around trees and up and down hillsides throughout the story. The story begins when the boy notices a squirrel scamper by and then, it vanishes. The boy asks his father, “Where did it go?” The story takes off as the father explains all the different wildlife that is hiding under and around the snowy area.
There are lots of animals included in this story: from the owls on the branches which the boy can see, to the hidden tiny shrews and voles in the chilly tunnels under his feet, and the fat bullfrogs sleeping under the snow, the duo continues on their journey through the snow. They’re thinking about all the creatures that are around them in this white landscape. You’ll need to stop and look at the illustrations in this book as many of the pages, the illustrator has layered the landscape so the reader can see the chipmunk under the snow with his nuts and leaves, the queen bee safely sleeping under the roots of an tree, and the mice cuddling up together to stay warm (just a few of the examples). While not a bright and colorful book, the book hues take on the warmth of the story and the quietness of the snowy day. 3.5 stars