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A good choice for a late fall storytime.

Animal behaviors change as they prepare to face the winter.

Migrate, hibernate, or tolerate. With smooth rhymes and jaunty illustrations, Salas and Gévry introduce three strategies animals use for coping with winter cold. The author’s long experience in imparting information to young readers is evident in her selection of familiar animals and in her presentation. Spread by spread she introduces her examples, preparing in fall and surviving in winter. She describes two types of migration: Hummingbirds and monarchs fly, and blue whales travel to the warmth of the south; earthworms burrow deeper into the earth. Without using technical words, she introduces four forms of hibernation—chipmunks nap and snack; bears mainly sleep; Northern wood frogs become an “icy pop,” frozen until spring; and normally solitary garter snakes snuggle together in huge masses. Those who can tolerate the winter still change behavior. Mice store food and travel in tunnels under the snow; moose grow a warmer kind of fur; the red fox dives into the snow to catch small mammals (like those mice); and humans put on warm clothes and play. The animals in the soft pastel illustrations are recognizable, more cuddly than realistic, and quite appealing; their habitats are stylized. The humans represent varied ethnicities. Each page includes two levels of text, and there’s further information in the extensive backmatter. Pair with Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen’s Winter Bees (2014).

A good choice for a late fall storytime. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2900-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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A boon for beaver storytimes or young naturalists living near beaver streams.

Readers learn about a keystone species and the habitat they create.

In a “House That Jack Built” style (though minus the cumulative repetition), Sonenshine introduces children to beavers. Beginning with a beaver who’s just gnawed down a willow near their lodge, the author moves on to the dam that blocks the stream and protects their domed home and then to the yearlings that are working to repair it with sticks and mud. Muskrats and a musk turtle take advantage of the safety of the beavers’ lodge, while Coyote tries (and fails) to breach it. Then the book turns to other animals that enjoy the benefits of the pond the beavers have created: goose, ducklings, heron, moose. While the beavers aren’t in all these illustrations, evidence of them is. And then suddenly a flood takes out both the dam and the beavers’ lodge. So, the beavers move upstream to find a new spot to dam and build again, coming full circle back to the beginning of the book. Hunter’s ink-and–colored pencil illustrations have a scratchy style that is well suited to the beavers’ pelts, their watery surroundings, and the other animals that share their habitat. Careful observers will be well rewarded by the tiny details. Beavers are mostly nocturnal, which isn’t always faithfully depicted by Hunter. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A boon for beaver storytimes or young naturalists living near beaver streams. (beaver facts, glossary, further resources) (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1868-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2022

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Bruce Goldstone’s Awesome Autumn (2012) is still the gold standard.

Rotner follows Hello Spring (2017) with this salute to the fall season.

Name a change seen in northern climes in fall, and Rotner likely covers it here, from plants, trees, and animals to the food we harvest: seeds are spread, the days grow shorter and cooler, the leaves change and fall (and are raked up and jumped in), some animals migrate, and many families celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving. As in the previous book, the photographs (presented in a variety of sizes and layouts, all clean) are the stars here, displaying both the myriad changes of the season and a multicultural array of children enjoying the outdoors in fall. These are set against white backgrounds that make the reddish-orange print pop. The text itself uses short sentences and some solid vocabulary (though “deep sleep” is used instead of “hibernate”) to teach readers the markers of autumn, though in the quest for simplicity, Rotner sacrifices some truth. In several cases, the addition of just a few words would have made the following oversimplified statements reflect reality: “Birds grow more feathers”; “Cranberries float and turn red.” Also, Rotner includes the statement “Bees store extra honey in their hives” on a page about animals going into deep sleep, implying that honeybees hibernate, which is false.

Bruce Goldstone’s Awesome Autumn (2012) is still the gold standard. (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3869-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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