Survival at 40 Below

Overview

As temperatures drop, the animals that make the tundra home must ready themselves for survival. See how animals like the arctic ground squirrel and the woolly bear caterpillar use special coping devices to keep warm as they hibernate their way through the frigid winter months. Then when the temperatures finally rise, these creatures emerge and the pulse of life returns to the arctic.

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Overview

As temperatures drop, the animals that make the tundra home must ready themselves for survival. See how animals like the arctic ground squirrel and the woolly bear caterpillar use special coping devices to keep warm as they hibernate their way through the frigid winter months. Then when the temperatures finally rise, these creatures emerge and the pulse of life returns to the arctic.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Cherie Ilg Haas
It takes a special ability for animals to survive the harsh winter of the Arctic Circle, as this book illustrates through its beautiful paintings and descriptive text. The images portray the swiftly moving rivers, the ghost-like hanging fog, and the stillness of a quiet Alaskan night. Each picture tells its own story about the amazing animals that are able to pull through each winter up north. Balancing the art, the text itself is written in a voice that is compassionate toward the species that have adapted to the extreme circumstances of low temperatures, little food, and tough competition. Perhaps most intriguing are representations of frogs and squirrels, which are able to lower their own body temperatures and reduce their blood circulation in order to hibernate in a deathlike state as they wait for warmer days and the return of food. This book includes an inspirational author's note, a glossary, a chart of record high and low temperatures of the Arctic, and a resource list of books and web sites. Reviewer: Cherie Ilg Haas
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Miller describes the terrain of Alaska's Gates of the Arctic National Park and explains how the seasonal changes affect a diverse array of animals—birds, fish, insects, and mammals—that live in the area year-round. Frozen frogs, hibernating ground squirrels, and even woolly bear caterpillars are among the smaller animals joining the larger musk oxen, polar bears, and caribou. Dall sheep, arctic foxes, and grizzly bear are shown as they adapt variously to the extreme climate. Van Zyle's acrylic paintings span the spreads, offering good impressionistic views of varied landscapes and fauna. In some scenes, the animals described in the accompanying narrative are hard to spot or not shown at all. The text moves smoothly and quickly, offering interesting glimpses of varied hibernation patterns and the physical characteristics enabling some animals to survive winter's deep chill aboveground. The closing author's note mentions the creeping changes with global warming. A chart of record high and low temperatures illustrates a really impressive range for each of the 12 months. The glossary includes "shivering" but nowhere is "tundra" defined, though it occurs several times in the text. Sketchy maps of Alaska and the park are set against a snowy mountain on the end pages. A good introduction to the diversity of the region's wildlife.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Kirkus Reviews
Focusing on the fauna that make their home in Gates of the Arctic National Park, Miller explores the many different kinds of adaptations that allow these animals to survive the brutal winters. From caribou and blackfish to Arctic fox and chickadee, most rely on physical characteristics. In preparation for winter, the wood frog literally freezes, flooding its body with glucose to prevent damage from ice crystals. The musk ox is naturally suited to the cold, with thick wool, short legs and small ears. In addition to their physical adaptations, these animals must feed and shelter themselves. The ptarmigan plunges into the powdery snow to survive nighttime temperatures, while the squirrel stores a cache of food to last the winter. The author segues nicely into spring, giving readers a sense of the full cycle of a year. Van Zyle's acrylic artwork realistically portrays both the animals and their Arctic habitat. Predominantly blue, brown and white, the paintings evoke the harsh climate of northern Alaska. A fascinating look at the great diversity of animal adaptations, as well as an introduction to some lesser-known species. (author's note, glossary, map, additional sources) (Informational picture book. 7-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802798152
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 2/2/2010
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,405,204
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

DEBBIE S. MILLER has written many acclaimed books, including Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights; The Great Serum Race, and Big Alaska. She lives in Alaska.

www.debbiemilleralaska.com

JON VAN ZYLE has teamed up with Debbie S. Miller on several Alaskan books, including Arctic Nights, Arctic Lights; The Great Serum Race; and Big Alaska. Jon, the official artist of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, lives with his wife and their Siberian huskies in Alaska.

www.jonvanzyle.com

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