365 Nature – Day 358

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


Today is wet and earlier we even saw a few snowflakes mixed in with the raindrops. The goldfinches, juncos and chickadees are visiting the feeders and it’s not officially winter. Cold, wet days like this are ideal for reading and I’m relieved and happy my daughter gets as much joy from books as I do. A week ago we went through her shelves and pulled out all the books that have to do with winter and we’ve been reading them, along with Christmas books the last few days. There are some which I really like to read for different reasons and I thought I’d share some of them today.

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal

This beautifully illustrated book follows a child through the snowy forest and shows their discoveries of nature which are seen and unseen. Above the snow an owl watches and a fox listens while under the snow frogs sleep and voles run through tunnels. It’s a unique look at a world which usually remains unknown.

Learning to Ski With Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen

The Mr. Magee series is among my very favorite to read and in this one he takes his dog Dee to a hill to learn to ski. The illustrations are wonderfully unique, it’s funny and the rhyming is a lot of fun to read. “The moose turned around and what did he see? Mr. Magee and his little dog Dee! The moose was so shocked he stood frozen in fear. But Mr. Magee hadn’t learned how to steer!”

The Mitten by Jan Brett

This has to near the top of not only my favorite winter books, but favorite picture books of all time. The layout of the pages excel at details with panels peaking ahead and showing other activities. The details in the images are beautiful and capture the Ukrainian culture. And the story is funny. The animals all stuff themselves into a lost mitten until a mouse tickles the bear’s nose.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and John Schoenherr

This book is a Caldecott winner and it’s no surprise why. A young girl goes with her father into the woods buried deep in snow to search for a Great Horned Owl. “And my nose and the tops of my cheeks felt cold and hot at the same time. But I never said a word. If you go owling you have to be quiet and make your own heat.”

Grandmother Winter by Phyllis Root and Beth Krommes

The art of Beth Krommes is instantly recognizable and when I see her books I always pick them up. This has turned into one of our favorites as Grandmother Winter “shakes her feather quilt” releasing snow into the world. As the flakes start to fall, the world changes and some animals ” put on their coats of white” while others go to sleep and hibernate.

A Little Bit of Winter by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

Hedgehog wants to know what winter feels like, but he’s too sleep and has to hibernate. He leaves rabbit a message to remember to save him a little bit of winter for when he wakes up. This book is one of my most frequently read because I choose it so often to at bedtime.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

This classic is in regular rotation at our house and I just learned there’s a short movie that accompanies the book. I look forward to watching it.

Snow by Uri Shulevitz

I recently discovered this one at the thrift store and it quickly became a favorite. It’s very simple with a nice message and unique art.

Trouble With Trolls by Jan Brett

Another classic by Jan Brett, although I could list several more winter books by her. In this book, Teva has trouble with trolls while climbing the snowy Mount Baldy and has to outsmart them to keep her dog safe. Like all Brett books the art is always accurate and highly details and the bottom of the pages shows another story.

Winter’s Tale by Robert Sabuda

We have a few of Robert Sabuda’s pop up books because he has perfected this type of book. Winter’s Tale is no exception as owls fly out of the pages, foxes hide in a cave and a bear fishes in a waterfall. Each page has a secondary flap with more animals hidden away. The colors are very muted with mostly white and silver and subdued.

 

Kelly Brenner
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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist and writer based in Seattle. She founded and writes The Metropolitan Field Guide, a blog for ideas, thoughts and resources for the design of urban wildlife habitat and has contributed articles to a variety of other websites and publications.

Kelly has a certificate from the University of Washington in non-fiction writing. She continually takes classes and attends talks on various natural history topics. In 2009 she earned a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon.

She's also an avid photographer focusing on the natural world.
Kelly Brenner
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  1. I didn’t know about Jan Brett’s The Trouble with Trolls. I think there’ll be interest in this books because we recently saw the Trolls movie, loved it, and are on a trolls kick.
    By the way, we did the same last weekend – made a pile of snow/winter/Christmas books. Thanks for sharing your titles.

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