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Under the Snow

Under the Snow

5.0 5
by Melissa Stewart, Constance Rummel Bergum (Illustrator)

When snow falls, we love to sled and skate and have snowball fights. But at the end of the day, we go home where it is warm and safe. What about all those animals out there in the forests and fields? What do they do when snow blankets the ground? Journey from your neighborhood to the woods, where ladybugs crowd together in a gap in the stone wall and a chipmunk


When snow falls, we love to sled and skate and have snowball fights. But at the end of the day, we go home where it is warm and safe. What about all those animals out there in the forests and fields? What do they do when snow blankets the ground? Journey from your neighborhood to the woods, where ladybugs crowd together in a gap in the stone wall and a chipmunk snoozes in his burrow. Take a side trip to the pond, where a carp rests quietly on the bottom and a green frog nestles in the mud, scarcely breathing. And then as winter passes and the sun's rays grow stronger, join all the animals as they get ready for spring. Award-winning science writer Melissa Stewart offers a lyrical tour of a variety of habitats, providing young readers with vivid glimpses of animals as they live out the winter beneath the snow and ice. Constance R. Bergum's glowing watercolors perfectly capture the wonder and magic that can happen under the snow.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
"You spend your days sledding and skating and having snowball fights. But under the snow lies a hidden world." So begins an exciting exploration of life beneath the fields, forests, ponds, and wetlands when snow and ice blanket the world. Readers will be amazed at the fascinating things that go on under the snow. Ladybugs pack themselves tightly in a gap in a stone wall, chipmunk naps and snacks on stored nuts and seeds, salamander sleeps soundly through the coldest months, a carp rests quietly on the mud at the bottom of the pond and, just under the ice red-spotted newts dart about. It will surprise readers to learn that a wood frog buried under forest leaves can freeze solid and still survive. As the year moves slowly toward spring and the days grow longer, the animals emerge from their winter dwellings to face another season. Breathtaking watercolors are the highlight of the handsomely conceived and executed book. Some pages feature panels depicting different animals in the same habitat, while the juxtaposition of above and below ground illustrations allow readers to view both worlds simultaneously. The soft palette of grays and blues of the winter world above contrast with the browns, oranges, and greens of the world below. Snowflakes on the endpapers and the twilight view of a quiet pastoral village on the title page build anticipation for beauty and simplicity to follow. For a classroom study of animal survival in winter or just as a family share, this is an excellent introduction. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Stewart takes readers on an informative journey, describing how snakes, voles, spotted salamanders, carp, beavers, and red-spotted newts, among other animals, "spend their days" during the winter months. Fascinating facts—a wood frog can freeze solid on the forest floor and survive—make the spare text intriguing and fun. Beautiful paintings in muted watercolors convey the creatures in their habitats and the quiet of the season. This pleasing addition is a great read-aloud for units on winter and animal habitats.—Michele Sealander, Hamburg School, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
A snow-covered countryside may look barren of life, but Stewart's quiet text takes readers under the blanket of white to "a hidden world" where ladybugs sleep en masse and voles tunnel from tree to tree, where a wood frog freezes safely solid and bluegills and waterboatmen share frigid waters, where a turtle lies buried in mud and "even on the coldest winter days, red-spotted newts dodge and dart, whiz and whirl just below the ice." Bergum's equally quiet watercolors spread across the pages in panels that offer cross-sections and magnified details to give readers glimpses of the world beneath the snow. Their precision lends a dignity and beauty even to a sleeping centipede and a barbeled carp. Readers will come away with an appreciation for the adaptability and endurance of the animal world. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.60(w) x 11.50(h) x 0.40(d)
AD780L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Award-winning author Melissa Stewart has written more than 50 science books for kids (and edited more than 200)! Her background in biology and journalism makes her perfect for bringing science to kids.

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Under the Snow 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Its_Time_Mamaw More than 1 year ago
Under the snow! Have you ever wondered where all the critters go when there is snow on the ground and trees? Well this book has some wonderful illustrations and explanations as to where some of those critters go under a blanket of snow for the winter. For instance the author says: "Under the snow lies a hidden world." A wood frog nestles in scattered leaves on the forest floor. It can freeze solid and still survive. Buried in the mud, a frog and a turtle wait out the winter. They never move, and they barely breathe. Below the ground a chipmunk snoozes for a few days at a time. Between naps it snacks on the nuts and seeds stored in its burrow. And there are many more amazing things under the snow and ice for you to see and read about in this amazing book. The illustrations are full page color illustrations and with the author's writing it makes for a fun way to learn about the winter habitats of some interesting critters. This book would be a great book for your child. It would also be nice for the classroom or school library. Now I am a grandmother and I have a special bookshelf for my grandkids when they come to visit. So I will definitely add UNDER THE SNOW to Mamaw's Bookshelf. I highly recommend this book. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Peachtree Publishers for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.
JoannieDuris More than 1 year ago
A fascinating look at the unusual ways different animals survive the winter. Find out who stays active, who barely moves, and who survives by freezing solid! That's not just snow under your boots. Soothing, lyrical text makes this a perfect bedtime story. This book will leave young explorers wondering just what else is hidden under the snow. For more winter fun, visit the author's website.
imarty More than 1 year ago
Have this gem handy for the inevitable snow day and prepare to be enchanted! Melissa Stewart has written Under The Snow with all the soft sibilants of snow falling. "Below the ground, a chipmunk snoozes for a few days at a time. Between naps it snacks on the nuts and seeds stored in its burrow." It is a feast for the ears as well as the eyes. Young readers hearing this read aloud or reading it themselves will come away so full of wonder that they will never look at snow the same way again. Art and text come full circle with a family exploring winter in the beginning as they trudge across an open field of fresh fallen snow and end in the same spot ushering in the next season. "...Begin to get ready for spring. And so do you." The panels done in soft watercolors by Constance Rummel Bergum support and extend the quiet mood of this special picture book. Readers are invited to look at what is hidden under the snow in a field, below the ground, under the snow in a forest, inside a rotting log, under the snow in a pond, and under the snow in a wetland. To extend the pleasure of this book parents and teachers can encourage children to create their own Under The Snow artwork by offering open ended supplies such as a simple lift the flaps of white paper, nature magazines to cut pictures out of, adhesives, and an assortment of mixed media drawing tools. This book, in the hands of young scientists, will inspire more study of animal behavior. A great choice for winter reading. Marty Lapointe-Malchik, MED Educational Consultant, Teacher of the Deaf
JAJC More than 1 year ago
Under the Snow newts dodge and dart, bluegills circle, chipmunks snooze, and salamanders wait. Melissa Stewart poetically explores the world of winter and introduces readers to the fascinating strategies animals employ to outwit the cold. Constance R. Bergum's wondrous watercolors provide a harmonious accompaniment. Enjoy this unique and beautiful book with some warm cocoa and a small child.
Kate_Narita More than 1 year ago
A week ago, I woke up to a snow-covered yard. When, I opened the front door, my younger son pelted me with a snowball. By 9:00, the sun had melted the snow, but it still reminded me that soon everything will be UNDER THE SNOW. So if you have a curious child who wonders what's happening under the snow in a field, or under the snow in a forest, or under the snow on a pond, or under the snow in a wetland, be sure to check out this book. The lyrical text and lovely watercolors invite you to snuggle under a blanket and celebrate the natural wonders of the coldest season of the year.