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Over and under the snow
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Where is it?
Over the snow, the world is hushed and white. But under the snow lies a secret world of squirrels and snow hares, bears and bullfrogs, and many other animals making their winter home under the snow. This beloved nonfiction picture book exploring the subnivean zone reveals the tunnels and caves formed beneath the snow but over the ground, where many kinds of animals live through the winter, safe and warm, awake and busy, but hidden beneath the snow.
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School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 4-Messner's charming tale tells the story of what goes on under the snow while a young girl is cross-country skiing. A variety of animals, including voles, bees, red foxes, and bears, are noted on her trek. Laura Knight Keating voices the story, embracing the child's delight at the secret kingdom beneath the snow. With a lovely tone, Keating gives choice words emphasis and reads phrases like "clouds whisper down feathery-soft flakes" with breathy wonder. Alliteration is used heavily in the prose, and the repeated "s" sound is sibilant and a bit grating, which slightly mars the reading. The author's note that follows is loaded with information about the subnivean zone-tunnels beneath the snow-and details about the animals mentioned. The disc includes a version with page-turn signals. This seasonal story has strong educational value for the very young.-C.A. Fehmel, St. Louis County Library, MO (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Gliding through the woodland on skis, a girl and her father watch for signs of animals. A squirrel's tail flashes red as he disappears down a crack in the snow. A fox steps into view. Guided by her father, the child becomes increasingly aware of the secret kingdom beneath the snow, where voles pass through tunnels, bullfrogs sleep in mud, and a queen bee hibernates in the ground. A few appended pages offer more information about the animals mentioned and recommend books and websites for further reading. Neal's artwork, mixed media with digital elements, uses the white snow to isolate images of the people, animals, and trees within the natural setting. Cutaway views show what is happening beneath the snow as well as on its surface. Reminiscent of linocut prints, the illustrations have a retro look that suits Messner's precisely worded, effective story. A good choice for winter reading, this quiet but eye-opening picture book could heighten a child's awareness of the natural world.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist
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