Author: Henrietta Bancroft & Richard G. Van Gelder Illustrator:Helen K Davie
Age Level: 3-8
One morning this week we woke up to some loud honking—a flock of Canada Geese were on the lawn across from our house. We put on our shoes and ran to watch them (from a safe distance of course). After trying to answer endless questions about what the geese were doing and why they were here, I decided to get more books to read about animals in winter.
Animals in Winter by Henrietta Bancroft is an informational book that introduces kids to how animals survive in winter. My kids were able to relate a lot of the information because they were familiar with many of the animals. There is a variety of science vocabulary and content to connect what kids see in autumn with what will come up in winter.
The book talks about the three ways animals survive winter—hibernation, migration and adaptation. Some birds avoid cold weather by flying south to warmer climates well before winter.
Kids learn that animals that hibernate have to prepare just as those that adapt. The idea of sleeping for such long periods can be difficult to understand for young kids. The page with the woodchuck sleeping through four months, with the snow on the ground changing as spring draws near really brought it home to them. Even I learned about a new animal, the pika!
This is an excellent book for the younger classes for the animals unit or winter. The illustrations are very striking and focus entirely on the animals. After we finished the book, my kids had so many more questions that we had to look for answers on the internet.
The last pages have ideas on how kids can help animals in winter by providing them food. We are planning to use those ideas this winter. Right now my kids are ‘helping’ by piling the acorns they find in the yard for the squirrels.