Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
I found What Do Animals Do in Winter? How Animals Survive the Cold at the Library and figured it would make a good book for my then six-year old son. The book has a pleasant cover of a Mother Bear with her cubs huddled asleep in a den while outside you see the snow falling.
A Discovery Readers book illustrated in 1995 by Susan Harrison and copyrighted by Hambleton-Hill Publishing. Melvin and Gilda Berger are the co-authors of this first hardback edition published by Chelsea House Publishers. This consists of forty-eight pages with the last page the Index listing specific animals to locate. The back-cover has a Mother Rabbit and her babies taking cover in the winter as well.
What better time to read What Do Animals Do in Winter? How Animals Survive the Cold than at the start of the season. Even though we reside in California and my son has not experienced snow this is still a good subject to explore. The first half of the book goes into detail on which animals hibernate and how they go about doing this. We learn they travel most usually south for the winter and return come spring. They come back the time things start to grow and the colors start to change plus the weather is getting warmer.
Some birds fly to Florida, California or even to Mexico depending on the species. The Arctic tern will fly 11,000 miles from the North Pole all the way to the South Pole. There are maps showing the details for various animals that migrate so you have an idea where they are going when reading.
In the winter months the ponds where some animals drink from are frozen and there are no leaves on the trees for them to eat so they have to go south if they want to survive. There are birds that migrate once the days start getting shorter and they wait to go by sitting on telephone wires. Robins migrate only far enough to find food while Reindeer travel to valleys together.
Even the whales must migrate as the water freezes so they go to warm water to have their babies and return with their babies once they have grown. The next part of the book discusses what the animals do in the cold weather, besides travel. Here we learn about which animals hibernate, such as groundhogs, bats, frogs, turtles and some snakes. For the groundhogs they prepare for their hibernation by eating lots of plants and grass all spring and summer. They hibernate for up to six months in tunnels under the ground.
The bats hide in caves upside down as this keeps them warm as they sleep. The other animals breathe slowly and lie cold and stiff without eating anything for months. Bears also hibernate, digging holes in the ground or in caves. They may come out for food but they go right back to sleep just as raccoons might do the same and go back to their holes.
Animals will also hide come the cold winter months like squirrels do in their nests. Bees will pile into one big ball for the winter, keeping each other warm and eating the honey they made that summer. Ants, beavers, caterpillars and crickets will also hide during the winter. The caterpillars become butterflies and baby crickets hatch come spring.
Some of the animals also change color during the seasons. Rabbits coats turn to white in cold months but the rest of the year they are brown. Weasels also grow white fur in the winter and this helps them hide in the snow. The fox does not hibernate nor change color but grows extra fur to stay warm. The other geography lessons in What Do Animals Do in Winter? How Animals Survive the Cold have to do with when it is winter in other parts of the world. The illustration shows both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere and explains how the earth is divided into two parts. When one part is experiencing winter the other part will be having summer. Another illustration shows blue and green areas where animals migrate from and to.
This book gives great descriptions on how the animals combat the cold, where they travel to and how they change from the seasons. This would make a great addition for winter reading for kids that are interested in animals, nature and to learn about why animals behave certain ways. The pages are brief with short sentences. This would also make a good gift for a teacher or to share with the classroom as a winter project.
This article was adapted from a review I previously published on Epinions
At the time Nicholas was closing in on turning seven. This is still a subject he enjoys and wonders a lot about animals and how they survive the cold.
This review is part of the themed series I am starting here, mentioned in The Interests of children with Autism through the years. The subject will be Animals with related articles on similar books for the same section.
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