Sunday, January 5, 2020
Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle: How Animals Get Ready for Winter, written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Claudine Gevry. Lerner, Millbrook Press, Thomas Allen & Son. 2019. $25.99 ages 4 and up
winter stash grows.
Nap curled up with your
tail on your nose.
This chipmunk snacks on
her stashed food between
long winter naps.
Gobble up acorns and
beechnuts by streams."
Adaptation is quite the amazing thing, isn't it?
In this book of rhythmic verse, Ms. Salas once again looks to animals in nature and the many ways they change as they look toward the coming winter. We humans need ways to deal with the brutal cold that winter can bring ... animals are no different. The title gives readers a hint that there are three ways to do it.
They leave one place to find warmth in another. They fill their bodies with food needed to sustain them as they sleep through winter's icy blast. Or, being brave as they can be, they stay put and find ways to keep warm on the coldest days.
"Slither and bask. Stay solo.
Swarm with some friends.
It's warmer to mingle.
This garter snake snuggles with thousands
of friends to share body heat."
If you live in Manitoba as I do, you will likely know something about the Narcisse Snake dens:
On each double page spread, animal behavior is described as the animal first makes preparation for the winter weather, and then manages to survive it. She explains migration, hibernation, and how those that stay behind are able to sustain life with changes they make to usual behaviors. Claudine Gevry uses 'soft pastels on sanded paper with accents of silver or copper leaf' to create enjoyable settings for the chosen animals, and for the animals themselves. Detailed and inviting, they provide context for the rhyming couplets and the accompanying additional line of information.
Backmatter bolsters the learning in two separate sections. In Three Survival Strategies, the author provides further information about migration, hibernation, toleration, and even a few variations. In Amazing Survivors, she speaks specifically about the Migrators, Hibernators, and Tolerators she has chosen to highlight in the main text of this very welcome book. She also includes a glossary of pertinent words.