This board book offers sturdy pages that can be handled more roughly than the breakable knickknack it tries to emulate.
A circular clear plastic window dotted with sparkling glitter “snow” reveals decorative cutouts reminiscent of holiday greeting cards. These pages are cleverly layered, but the text and pictures don't always match. The second stanza invites readers to “follow the footprints,” but the footprints in the pictures are indistinct, failing to deliver on an implied game. Rhyming verses set in arcs to echo the rounded shape of a snow globe point out some detail of each animal's behavior or home. The final page shows previously introduced animals—foxes, rabbits, moose, raccoons, and owl—in relation to one another, some snuggled belowground and others foraging above. This might clarify some of the rather difficult vocabulary and help young children understand what a “den” and “burrow” are, but introducing a chipmunk to the scene may confuse observant readers. A cardinal flits across each spread until landing in its winter nest, which also houses a mama bird and three babies—a distressingly inaccurate depiction of the avian life cycle in winter.
The text’s repeated invitation to shake this fake snow globe will frustrate 21st-century children, who expect more from interactive books. (Board book. 2-4)