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Children's Nonfiction Zoology

Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle

How Animals Get Ready for Winter

by (author) Laura Purdie Salas

illustrated by Claudine Gevry

Lerner Publishing Group
Initial publish date
Sep 2019
Zoology, Seasons, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 5 to 9
  • Grade: k to 3
  • Reading age: 7 to 8


There is more than one way for animals to prepare for winter. Some, such as mice, foxes, and moose, simply tolerate the cold. Of course black bears hibernate, but chipmunks, wood frogs, and garter snakes do too. And then there are the creatures that migrate, including hummingbirds, blue whales, and even earthworms! This rhyming nonfiction picture book by Laura Purdie Salas tells you all about how animals survive chilly weather.

About the authors

Laura Purdie Salas is the author of more than 130 books for kids, including If You Were the Moon, Water Can Be . . ., and BookSpeak! Poems about Books. Poetry and rhyming nonfiction books are her favorite things to write. Laura loves to do author visits, writing workshops, and teacher inservices. Read more about Laura and her work at

Laura Purdie Salas' profile page

Claudine Gévry's love for books and drawing naturally led her to doing the best job on earth: children's book illustrator. She has illustrated many many books and she is at her happiest when painting cute animals or lush plants.

She lives between the mountains and the ocean in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Claudine Gevry's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Animal behaviors change as they prepare to face the winter. Migrate, hibernate, or tolerate. With smooth rhymes and jaunty illustrations, Salas and Gévry introduce three strategies animals use for coping with winter cold. The author's long experience in imparting information to young readers is evident in her selection of familiar animals and in her presentation. Spread by spread she introduces her examples, preparing in fall and surviving in winter. She describes two types of migration: Hummingbirds and monarchs fly, and blue whales travel to the warmth of the south; earthworms burrow deeper into the earth. Without using technical words, she introduces four forms of hibernation—chipmunks nap and snack; bears mainly sleep; Northern wood frogs become an 'icy pop,' frozen until spring; and normally solitary garter snakes snuggle together in huge masses. Those who can tolerate the winter still change behavior. Mice store food and travel in tunnels under the snow; moose grow a warmer kind of fur; the red fox dives into the snow to catch small mammals (like those mice); and humans put on warm clothes and play. The animals in the soft pastel illustrations are recognizable, more cuddly than realistic, and quite appealing; their habitats are stylized. The humans represent varied ethnicities. Each page includes two levels of text, and there's further information in the extensive backmatter. Pair with Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen's Winter Bees (2014). A good choice for a late fall storytime."—Kirkus Reviews


"How do animals prepare for winter? Salas offers 12 examples in a picture book with three kinds of text. In large type, rhymed couplets offer brief, sometimes cryptic comments on each double-page spread. Text for the monarch butterfly spread reads, 'Float like a kite on a sweet, nectar breeze. / Cluster on branches of tall family trees.' The verse text maintains a consistently cheerful tone. In smaller type, a sentence provides a fact or two about the animal pictured, while most of the information appears in the well structured back matter aimed at older readers. In the illustrated main section of the book, the arrangement of featured animals and their winter strategies seems somewhat random, but the back matter reveals the overall organization in paragraphs of text that explain the three main survival strategies (migrate, hibernate, tolerate) and discuss the four examples of each. Within the pastel artwork, rounded forms, soft edges, and warm colors create an endearing look. Primary grade teachers may find this picture book a useful read-aloud choice to supplement units on animals in winter."—Booklist


"What animals do to survive winter weather is divided into four categories: migration, hibernation, toleration, or a combination of these actions. Gévry's soft pastel illustrations combine with Salas's rhyming text, depicting the wildlife in two-page spreads. Bear, butterfly, chipmunk, fox, frog, hummingbird, moose, mouse, snake, whale, worm, and even people show their accommodations. On one spread, two monarch butterflies sail through the landscape toward their group clustered in trees: 'Float like a kite on a sweet, nectar breeze. Cluster on branches of tall family trees.' The text is mellifluous, and the inclusion of a fast fact in small script does not distract from the whole: 'This monarch butterfly flies south in fall to mate and lay eggs in spring.' The back matter, written at a fifth-grade level, describes each of the animals and their methods of surviving their climate. VERDICT Despite the annoying trend in juvenile nonfiction literature of excluding sources, the lack of documentation here does not hinder the value of such a well-organized, clearly written, and delightfully illustrated work. Too charming to miss."—School Library Journal


Other titles by Laura Purdie Salas

Other titles by Claudine Gevry