Holding alternate pages up to a light reveals animals hiding, sleeping, or foraging through a winter night.
Leading questions—“Whoosh! What has landed in the tree?”—caption painted views of fallen leaves, snow-covered evergreen branches, birch catkins, berries on leafless branches, and unmarked expanses of snow. These conceal either snowflakes or birds, snails, and other creatures that, being rendered on the undersides of each recto as white figures on solid-black backgrounds, become visible when held up to the light. As several of the animals are peeking out on the colored sides too, there isn’t always much guesswork involved. Possibly in service to the gimmick, the colors overall look rather wan, both here and in the co-published On the Construction Site, which features an unexciting bevy of stylized heavy-duty vehicles digging holes or carting such visually stimulating materials as rocks and cement. In both, the explanatory notes are couched in simple, declarative sentences with additional facts supplied in a closing spread. But the information is standard-issue, the hidden elements aren’t drawn to scale (a dormant bumblebee on the first spread of Winter is big enough to frighten unwary tots), and the art seems drab next to such other takes on these ever popular topics as Kate Messner and Christopher Silas’ Over and Under the Snow (2011) and Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock’s Construction (2014).
A one-trick pony unlikely to tempt readers into a second ride. (Informational novelty picture book. 6-8)