It’s January 1st and that means a new topic for Nature Book Club. This month we are learning all about winter wildlife and winter nature topics. Winter is a great time to explore nature right in your own backyard or venture to a park or nature center or stay bundled up inside and read some great books.
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Animals in Winter – Have you ever seen a butterfly in the snow? Probably not. Butterflies can’t survive cold weather, so when winter comes, many butterflies fly to warmer places. They migrate. Woodchucks don’t like cold weather either but they don’t migrate; they hibernate. Woodchucks sleep in their dens all winter long. Read and find out how other animals cope with winter’s worst weather.
Don’t Wake Up the Bear! – It’s a cold, snowy night, and a big, soft bear sleeps soundly in his cave. A small hare wanders by, and since his ears are so cold, he snuggles up in the bear’s cozy den. Before long, a fox comes along with the same idea. “You may come in,” says the hare, “but don’t wake up the bear!” As the night wears on, the nest of sleeping animals expands until a mouse with a cold curls up right in the bear’s ear―and wakes him up with a loud sneeze!
Frozen Wild: How Animals Survive in the Coldest Places on Earth – Quietly it comes—the dark and chill of winter. And in the snow-covered fields and forests, the great northern plains, vast stretches of frozen tundra, and icy polar regions, wild animals have to survive day after day, night after night, out in the cold. How do they do it? Kids can bundle up and join award-winning author, illustrator, and naturalist Jim Arnosky as he follows the tracks of otters, beavers, moose, polar bears, killer whales, penguins, fur seals, and other creatures to discover more about their lives during this frigid season. Arnosky’s stunning art includes five magnificent foldouts that reveal worlds under the ice and at the farthest, frostiest reaches of the globe.
Gregory’s Shadow – Gregory is a shy groundhog, and having his friend Shadow close by makes him feel brave. But one day Gregory and Shadow go outside to look for food, and they get separated. Scared and lonely, they search and search for one another. To make matters worse, tomorrow is Groundhog Day, and everyone will be waiting to see if Gregory and his shadow leave their home together. Will the two friends find each other in time for Groundhog Day?
Hibernation Station – Everybody at the station! It’s time for winter hibernation! The sweet rhyming text of this book will calm even the most rambunctious kids and have them dreaming about what it’s like to hibernate. Young readers will be soothed and delighted as this story introduces them to different types of hibernating animals. The creatures on the train are preparing to snuggle into sleep, although with a passenger list that includes chipmunks, bears, snakes, hedgehogs, groundhogs, frogs, turtles, mice, bats, and more, there’s a lot of noise! Will the hibernating critters ever get to sleep? Take a trip to Hibernation Station to find out!
In the Snow: Who’s Been Here? – The woods are cold and desolate as Cammy and William hike through the snow, yet signs of animal life are everywhere. Help them find the clues — a pellet of feathers and bones, a fish head by the brook, a patch of bark rubbed off the trunk of a birch tree, and more — and join in guessing, “Who’s been here?”
Over and Under the Snow – Over the snow, the world is hushed and white. But under the snow lies a secret world of squirrels and snow hares, bears and bullfrogs, and many other animals making their winter home under the snow. This beloved nonfiction picture book exploring the subnivean zone reveals the tunnels and caves formed beneath the snow but over the ground, where many kinds of animals live through the winter, safe and warm, awake and busy, but hidden beneath the snow.
Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep! – It’s time for Big Bear to hibernate, so Old Man Winter keeps telling him: “Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep.” But Big Bear doesn’t hear very well. He thinks Old Man Winter has told him to drive a jeep, to sweep, and to leap. Big Bear just can’t seem to hear what Old Man Winter is saying. Finally, Old Man Winter finds a noisy way to get Big Bear’s attention. Cozy illustrations rendered in pencil and mixed media by Will Hillenbrand bring this bedtime story to a fitting conclusion.
Someone Walks By: The Wonders of Winter Wildlife – Someone is walking through the north woods in winter. Readers can see the tracks in each detailed depiction of winter habitat, but they don’t discover the mystery animal until the last pages. On the way, they see frozen wood frogs, a bear in her den with her newborn cubs, sleepy chipmunks, fish and otters swimming under the ice, owl hunting and hare hiding, and many other creatures surviving and even thriving in the cold, snowy winter environment.
The Animals Winter Sleep – Taking nonfiction into the realm of bedtime read-to-me stories, this rich, melodic text paired with detailed color pencil illustrations describes how 13 North American animal species—such as black bear, ermine, pileated woodpecker, porcupine, river otter, and ruffed grouse—survive harsh winter snows snug inside their dens, nests, burrows, and lodges. Additional information, geared to very young children, includes animal winter survival adaptations, such as the foods they eat, nesting materials, camouflage, and predator survival along with a series of questions that encourage children to look back at the illustrations for clues. A line art diagram of the final panorama illustration that identifies the location of all 13 animal species is also included.
The Mitten – When Nicki drops his white mitten in the snow, he goes on without realizing that it is missing. One by one, woodland animals find it and crawl in; first, a curious mole, then a rabbit, a badger and others, each one larger than the last. Finally, a big brown bear is followed in by a tiny brown mouse and what happens next makes for a wonderfully funny climax.
Time to Sleep – A chill is in the air and Bear knows it is time for her winter nap. But first, she must tell Snail. And Snail must tell Skunk. And Skunk must tell Turtle. Each animal who tries to put off going to sleep just a little longer sees, smells, hears, or tastes the signs of the impending season. Finally, Ladybug rushes off to tell Bear–already asleep in her cave–the exciting news.
When It Starts to Snow – What if it starts to snow. What do you do? Where do you go?” So begins this winter story, as each animal–from a mouse to a bear–tells us what it will do and where it will go when the snow starts to fall. Each takes cover in its own special home, except for one. Can you guess who?
Link up your Winter Wildlife nature study post during the Nature Book Club on January 20!