By Kate Messner ; Illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
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.
Great read-aloud book for families and classrooms
Softcover, 44 pages.
8 x 12 inches.
Recommended for ages 5-8 years (kindergarten to 3rd grade).
"Messner packs much information into the serene wintry landscape, beautifully captured in Neal’s stunning retro-style illustrations. Calm, lovely and richly informative."—The New York Times
Straddling the informative and the evocative, this lovely study of the ways animals spend the winter in a “secret kingdom under the snow” combines Messner’s (Sea Monster’s First Day) graceful prose (“Over the snow, the fire crackles, and sparks shoot up to the stars. I lick sticky marshmallow from my lips and lean back with heavy eyes”) with debut illustrator Neal’s quiet, woodcut-like portraits of the snowy forest.” ~ Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
“An adult and child cross-country ski through a winter forest wonderland, beautifully rendered through Messner’s spare, poetic words and Neal’s block-print-looking mixed-media illustrations.” ~ The Horn Book, starred review
“A good choice for winter reading, this quiet but eye-opening picture book could heighten a child’s awareness of the natural world.” ~ Booklist
“The lyrical descriptions of the text and the gray/brown/ice-blue palette of the illustrations leave readers with a retro feel that harkens back to the earlier days of children’s books and bygone times when life seemed simpler. Utterly charming, and informative, to boot; readers brought up on a diet of rhymes, bright colors, and adorable fluffy animals will find its simple beauty a balm.” ~ Kirkus Reviews
Winner of the 2012 Golden Kite Award from SCBWI
E.B. White Read Aloud Award for Younger Readers Finalist
NSTA/CBC Outstanding Trade Book for Science
Capitol Choices Noteworthy Books for Children & Teens
New York Times Notable Children’s Book
Winter 2011-2012 Kids IndieNext Pick
Kansas Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Award Nominee
Great Lakes Great Books Award Nominee
New Hampshire Ladybug Picture Book Award Nominee
Virginia Readers’ Choice Award Primary Nominee
Illinois Monarch Award Nominee
About the Author:
Kate Messner is a middle school teacher and the author of several books for young readers including the Sea Monster series. She is the recipient of an E. B. White Read Aloud Award and she lives on Lake Champlain.