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Set aside a special place for children to keep their own books.
Summary: A squirrel, a hedgehog and a bear are determined to stay awake (not hibernate) until they can see a winter snow. They find creative ways to keep themselves from falling asleep, and use the description of “snow” as dictated by a deer, to see if they can find it. They find, in the meantime, other things that are “soft, white and cold,” and it is funny to imagine those items falling from the sky like snow. At last, they get to see the snow. This is a largely wordless picture book about a squirrel and his friends.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, learning to read, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 0 to 5; read yourself: 6 to 8
Interest Level: 1 to 6
Reading Level: 1.9
Age of Child: Read with two boys ages 3 and 5.
Young Reader Reaction: My 3-year-old LOVED this book. My 5-year-old liked it, too. It has great illustrations, that show great ACTION. The squirrel dances around the page to keep himself awake, and the squirrel and the hedgehog sing (likely out of tune, based on this parent’s singing voice!), thus waking the grumpy bear.
Adult Reader Reaction: I liked this book. It was a great book to interest my boys, although I think girls would like it, too. It has the bones to be a very funny book in the hands of a willing narrator. I was happy that my sons enjoyed it. Some of the illustrations are “scrappy” — very good, but also very busy(pencil illustrations with spots of color). I was worried that the scene would get lost in all the business of the
illustrations, but it worked out fine. I was really impressed, actually, at how much expression the illustrator was able to convey in the animals. I was able to talk with my 3-year-old about how the squirrel might be feeling in a particular picture (sleepy, awake, tired, happy, excited, etc.), and my son was able to decipher the emotions pretty well.
Pros: Fun, active illustrations and few words engage kids in a silly story that they will instantly love. Because it is largely wordless, the kids can also make up their own story as they "read." It is also an introduction to hibernation.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a great one to pick up from the library in the fall to early winter.
Educational Themes: Although the story is fiction, you can draw nonfiction from it. For example you've got hibernation — which animals hibernate, which do not; and environmentalism — littering, leaving trash in the woods. This might also be a good book for OLDER kids, say grades 7-12, in an art class — progression of illustrations in depicting action scenes.
Notes: The Reading Tub, Inc. asked the publisher for a donation for this title. The request was for the purpose of reviewing the book. It will be given to a reader in need.
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