In this fun-filled and informative book, we take a winter walk with a rambunctious golden retriever Willy. Of course he leaves his paw prints in the snow. But there are other tracks, too, and none of them matches his. One by one, we find out what animals they belong to: a cat, a gull, a raccoon, a snowshoe hare, a bear, a moose, and-uh oh!-a skunk!
|Publisher:||Down East Books|
|Product dimensions:||8.60(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.30(d)|
|Age Range:||4 - 8 Years|
About the Author
Fran Hodgkins is the author of numerous children’s books, including Andre the Famous Harbor Seal and How People Learned to Fly. She lives in Rockport, Maine.
Karel Hayes is the best-selling illustrator of the “Visitors” series, which includes The Winter Visitors, The Summer Visitors, The Christmas Visitors, and the forthcoming The Autumn Visitors (Sept. 2015). She lives in Center Harbor, New Hampshire.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Three children, inside their cozy house on a snowy day, follow their dog, Willy, out for a romp. "Willy loves the winter. He loves to run around town and up into the woods." Willy gets a head start on the children, who follow him from one favorite spot to the next. In the freshly fallen snow, the children find the dog's tracks. "Who's been here? Willy has. But who else?" After examining the other tracks, the children are able to tell which animals have also been on the path. After a surprise encounter, it is the children who beat Willy back home.The rhythmic, simple language of this story has a gentle charm to it that makes it a perfect read-aloud on a snowy afternoon, or at bedtime. The educative aspect of the story is subtly delivered, and one can imagine the satisfaction of a young listener as he or she "guesses" which animals have appeared on the path with Willy. The humorous ending is appropriate even for very young listeners, especially if they have basic knowledge of common woodland animals.Illustrations by Karel Hayes are both delicate and realistic, with a variety of perspectives and a lovely palette of wintry shades for the snowy landscape. Neither Willy nor the animals he encounters are anthropomorphized, yet their "emotions" are easily read in their faces and their actions. A rabbit appears timid and nervous as Willy rounds the corner and unknowingly comes closer, a bear appears sleepy after his jaunt around town. Willy himself is all boundless energy and innocent enthusiasm as he explores the wonder of his whole world blanketed in snow. Twiggy frames around the illustrations contain the action, while the white space outside is printed with the tracks of the various animals Willy meets, whose identities are revealed on the next pages in double page spreads (used to nice effect here). This work makes a lovely addition to elementary school collections, and in addition to a story-time read-aloud, would be a nice book for early elementary teachers looking to kick off a unit on woodland biomes, or animals in winter. Contrast it with Ezra Jack Keats' urban take on snowfall in the city, The Snowy Day. Highly recommended.