Oh, how I have been waiting for snow to share this book with a group of children. So our temperamental Vancouver weather finally delivered some snow to city streets! It was falling as I gathered our reading group together to read Over and Under the Snow written by the talented Kate Messner and illustrated (so beautifully) by Christopher Silas Neal. Reading the book I got to glance down at entranced little faces and look up to see snow swirling and whirling outside the windows. Magical.
We loved the Author’s Note at the back of the book where we found out that this “secret kingdom under the snow” has a very impressive name: the subnivean zone (the small open spaces and tunnels between the snowpack and the ground). We also liked reading more information about each of the animals we had questions about in the back section that provided more details.
Students were asked to web out some of their new learning and eagerly sat down and got to work detailing what they had discovered.
Some fascinating new facts:
This is a lovely image!
The idea of a secret kingdom made every list! Such a magical image.
If you read the book, you might be most impressed as we were with the red fox and its keen hearing. Check out this link on Kate Messner’s blog where she shares a video of a real red fox listening for its prey under the snow.
The perfect book to share with city children who don’t get many opportunities to be out in a snowy world. Makes our upcoming field trip to go snowshoeing even more exciting! We now know what is happening under the snow! Wonderful how books really do open up new worlds but also allow us to look more intently at places that surround us that we don’t always get to explore.