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SURVIVAL AT 40 BELOW by Debbie S. Miller


by Debbie S. Miller & illustrated by Jon Van Zyle

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8027-9815-2
Publisher: Walker

Focusing on the fauna that make their home in Gates of the Arctic National Park, Miller explores the many different kinds of adaptations that allow these animals to survive the brutal winters. From caribou and blackfish to Arctic fox and chickadee, most rely on physical characteristics. In preparation for winter, the wood frog literally freezes, flooding its body with glucose to prevent damage from ice crystals. The musk ox is naturally suited to the cold, with thick wool, short legs and small ears. In addition to their physical adaptations, these animals must feed and shelter themselves. The ptarmigan plunges into the powdery snow to survive nighttime temperatures, while the squirrel stores a cache of food to last the winter. The author segues nicely into spring, giving readers a sense of the full cycle of a year. Van Zyle’s acrylic artwork realistically portrays both the animals and their Arctic habitat. Predominantly blue, brown and white, the paintings evoke the harsh climate of northern Alaska. A fascinating look at the great diversity of animal adaptations, as well as an introduction to some lesser-known species. (author’s note, glossary, map, additional sources) (Informational picture book. 7-12)