In Palermo’s picture-book debut, various animals against snowy backdrops tell readers whom else they know and how those animals go about surviving the winter.
“Winter, winter, cold and snow; / Chickadee Chickadee, who do you know? / I know bear asleep in her den, / she might wake up when the sun shines in.” Bear introduces children to Beaver, whose lodge entrance is under the ice; Beaver in turn tells about Deer, who tries to be quiet while eating twigs. Then come camouflaged Rabbit; Wolf, listening for the sounds of a mouse under the snow; Owl, who is nocturnal; and Woodchuck, who ends the tale, as he is hibernating and won’t tell whom he knows. Palermo’s rhythm and rhyme sometimes stumble, and the repeated question “who do you know” is the grammatical equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard for many. Song’s illustrations appear to be a combination of mixed media and cut-paper collage, the papers wonderfully textured and patterned. Her child-friendly animals are more cartoonish than realistic, but that may be appropriate in a book that substitutes good words for scientific terms: “munching,” “stealthy,” “sleek,” “soars” but not “nocturnal” or “hibernating.” Backmatter not seen.
A wintertime version of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Picture book. 1-4)