Someone Walks By: 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 wolf joining her mate until the last pages. On the way, they see many creatures surviving and even thriving in the cold, snowy winter environment. The artwork is created from intricately cut and torn colored paper with watercolor and ink detailing. Children will enjoy finding the many animals on each page of this award-winning...
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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 wolf joining her mate until the last pages. On the way, they see many creatures surviving and even thriving in the cold, snowy winter environment. The artwork is created from intricately cut and torn colored paper with watercolor and ink detailing. Children will enjoy finding the many animals on each page of this award-winning book.
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Editorial Reviews

Book List
Set in the northern woodland in winter, this picture book shows how a variety of animals adapt to the frigid, snowy environment. A wide variety of winter homes and coping skills are introduced, from the snapping turtle that "snoozes deep in mud, his heart a slow and lazy drum" to the mice, shrews, and voles traversing "crystal tunnels" beneath the snow. Poetic metaphors, internal rhymes, and repeated sounds give a lyrical tone to the prose. A typical double-page spread introduces several animals (mainly mammals, rodents, and birds) in a few lines of text and two collage illustrations that combine cut papers into effective compositions enhanced with ink drawings and watercolors for details and patterns. Each page includes a border showing the tracks of one or more featured beasts and birds. The concluding page offers a collection of animal factoids, tightly packed into one long paragraph. An attractive addition to school units.
—Carolyn Phelan
Armchair Interviews
Delightful message. Beautiful illustrations. This author/illustrator has created a stunning trek across a Northern winter environment. Raven Productions of Ely Minnesota encourages children and adults to explore, enjoy and protect the natural world and share experiences with one another through storytelling, writing and art. The illustrations are bold and tell a story without a word. Animals are hiding on every page waiting for a child to find them. The cover art could be framed for its beauty. Home schooling parents could use this book for many days of lessons on animal's winter survival, hibernation and hunting for food. Any child and adult will find the story intriguing with the illustrations alternating between showing life on top of the snow and underground (like rivers, caves, etc.). The story moves quickly as we learn about all the animals found in the northwoods. Whether we are learning about day and night activities of mammals and birds, the give and take of nature is obvious. What does a porcupine eat? How do animals store up food for winter? What does it look like inside a bear's den with mother and cubs? Each above ground page focuses on one animal-and its footprints border the page. Kids could practice drawing them. The title idea of "someone walks by" is answered at the end as two wolves howl from different directions, "I am here" to each other so the mates can connect. The wonderful way the author describes things like: "Two wolves run and dance on moonlight paws racing with shoulders pressed together." You can see them run and almost feel their togetherness. Armchair Interviews says: This book is a wonderful combination of all three: story, storytelling and superbvisuals.
—Connie Anderson
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3

The subdued earthy tones of Carlson-Voiles's exquisite cut-paper illustrations complement her hushed poetic language as she describes the winter scenes taken in by an unidentified solitary rambler (revealed at book's end to be a wolf). Texture and watercolor accents add detail to handsomely bordered illustrations teeming with wildlife. Some pages provide a peek into the dens and tunnels of hiding and hibernating creatures. Though the text is attractively presented on most pages, the words are occasionally difficult to read. This, and a few stumbling points where the flow of the language yields to the need to inform, diminishes the book's appeal as a read-aloud. An informational note is appended. Though the facts have been arranged to match the narrative's sequence, the sentences run together in one large paragraph per page and seem a bit disorganized. Use this offering to supplement titles on nature in winter, such as Carl R. Sams's Stranger in the Woods (Carl R. Sams II Photography, 1999), which also features a mysterious passerby.-Neala Arnold, St. Francis Elementary School, MN

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780980104561
  • Publisher: Raven Productions
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,474,368
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Polly Carlson-Voiles lives with her husband and her dog, Sally, atop an ancient rock in northern Minnesota where she can see for miles in any direction. Below, on Moose Lake, it is a short canoe paddle to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Her children’s writing and illustrations reflect the inspiration of living in this wild place. She enjoys learning daily about the brilliance of the natural world while hiking, canoeing, watching birds, bears, wolves and other wildlife, and she has a passion for sharing this love of nature with children. Polly is a retired Minneapolis English and special education teacher. She wrote and illustrated her first book, Someone Walks By: The Wonders of Winter Wildlife, which won the 2009 Northeastern Minnesota Book Award for children's literature, the silver medal at the Midwest Independent Publishers’ Awards, and the bronze medal at the Moonbeam Childrens’ Book Awards. Houghton Mifflin published her middle-grade novel, Summer of the Wolves, in the spring of 2012.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 9, 2009

    "Whose Woods Are These?"

    Polly Carlson-Voiles book, SOMEONE WALKS BY, is captivating and informative. <BR/>It is an introduction to the indigenous animals and their creative methods of survival<BR/>in the North Woods. <BR/><BR/>While on your walk through the woods one snowy day, Carlson-Voiles allows the reader to discover some 28 different species of mammals, different birds, fish, and amphibians as well as where and how they live and hibernate for the duration of winter. <BR/><BR/>SOMEONE WALKS BY is a book loved and welcomed as a gift for children of any age, nature centers, libraries and schools. Polly Carlson-Voiles created the artwork for the cover as well as for every page throughout this book with intricate cut paper depictions of the animals and environment through the unique method of cut paper mosaic that adds to this well collected treasure.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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