Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Big Snow by Berta & Elmer Hader

With much of the country blanketed by snow this time of year, The Big Snow by Berta & Elmer Hader is the perfect book for family reading. The illustrations are amazing--an assortment of black and white sketches with incredible detail interspersed with watercolor paintings that breathe life into the story (note: if you have a budding artist, the illustrations would make a marvelous model to copy). It's no wonder this book was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1949.

The reader is introduced one by one to a host of creatures and learns about how each prepares for winter. For those looking for "living books" to enhance their studies, this is a perfect example. Youngsters will learn about migration, hibernation and food gathering of animals. When I started jotting down all the animals I was amazed by the list:
  • wild geese
  • ground hog
  • chipmunk
  • blue jay
  • cardinals
  • song sparrows
  • blue bird
  • robin
  • wood rat
  • ring-necked pheasant
  • red & grey squirrels
  • white-footed wood mouse
  • short-tailed meadow mouse
  • white-tailed deer
  • skunk
  • raccoons
  • screech owl
Any one of those animals could make for an interesting study. Use The Big Snow as a catalyst for exploring which birds stay and which fly south; which animals store food and which ones hibernate. From the fall pilgrimage of wild geese flying south through winter's big snow, you will be charmed. How the animals find food after the snow buries their stores makes for a delightful surprise.

Now for a limited time, you can download a free project pack on The Big Snow from In the Hands of a Child (note: this site is worth exploring for project packs on a variety of topics for a variety of ages). Hurry and download your copy today and you'll be amazed how much your kids will learn about animals and their habits. Although targeted for grades K-2, the pack can be easily adapted for older and younger students. This is an amazing resource! You can also find unit study ideas for this book at Homeschool Share.

Would you like to learn more about this husband and wife team? Visit this author website--it's a fascinating site with lots of interesting tidbits about their life and artistic career. If you want to track down other books either written or illustrated by the Haders here's a list.

One of my favorite places to find used books is Paperback Swap. Membership is free and when you post your first ten books available for swapping, you'll immediately get one free credit to select a book of your choice. Interested? Join the Club and Swap Books for Free! - PaperBackSwap.com. Or follow the link below to purchase a copy of The Big Snow from Amazon.

Happy Reading,
Jill


4 comments:

Anna-Marie said...

Thanks for the resource on the paperback swap. I hadn't heard of it. Going now to check it out:)

Jill Stanish said...

Anna-Marie, I hope you like Paperback Swap--we've found many wonderful books there. I like that you can keep a wish list and when a book becomes available, they'll let you know.

Writer said...

Thanks for reviewing this book. I have put it on hold at the library and I downloaded the freebie. My kids are going to be happy when I show them this surprise.
I am from the TOS Crew and am now following you. I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts. Please follow me and thank you if you already are! Have a wonderful week. :)
www.indoorgardenmusings.blogspot.com

Jill Stanish said...

Writer, thanks for stopping by! Hope you and your kids love the book! I'm following your blog now as well. Blessings~