Tag Archives: wildlife

Perfect Pairing – of Snowy Days

It’s winter where I live, so the thought of snowy days fills my mind. I also read recently that the classic picture book, The Snowy Day, was the most requested book from the New York Public Library ever. So it made me think, what newer books are out there that explore fun in the snow. If you have any favorites, please add them in the comments!

Into the Snow 

Author: Yuki Kaneko

Illustrator: Masamitsu Saito

Publisher/Date: Enchanted Lion Books/2016

Ages: 3-7

Themes: snowy days, sledding, playing

Short Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Into the Snow is an exuberant story told in the child’s own voice. Celebrating immediacy and exploration, along with the tender bond between mother and child, this is a story that feels good, the way all real things do.

Masamitsu Saito was born in 1958 in Japan. He studied graphic design at Tama Art University. His work can be found in magazines, on chocolate packages, and inside wonderful books.

Yuki Kaneko is an artist, naturalist, translator, and author. She grew up in Japan, and now lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

Read a review at Kirkus Reviews.


Red Sled

Author & Illustrator: Lita Judge

Publisher/date: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster/2011

Ages: 2-5

Themes: sledding, wilderness, wildlife, winter magic

Short Synopsis (from Goodreads):

In this almost wordless picture book, a host of woodland creatures take a child’s sled for a nighttime joy ride. Their whimsical ride is gorgeously depicted in bold watercolor, complemented by humorous expressions and pitch-perfect sound effects. With a timeless tone and classic characters, RED SLED will become a wintertime favorite.

Read a review at Kirkus Reviews.

I paired these books because both present the joys of experiencing snowy days (and nights) and the wintry landscape.

Looking for similar reads? See Toys Meet Snow: Being the Wintertime Adventures of a Curious Stuffed Buffalo, a Sensitive Plush Stingray, and a Book-loving Rubber Ball (Emily Jenkins & Paul O. Zelinsky/2015),  The Snowy Day (Ezra Jack Keats/1962), and the story of its creator, A Poem for Peter (Andrea Davis Pinkney & Lou Fancher & Steve Johnson/2016). And see even more choices in this list curated by the folks at Brightly.

Perfect Pairing – heads to the Countryside

As the temperatures have been soaring throughout much of the US, I think it’s time to leave the city and head to the countryside!


Hey, Hey, Hay! A Tale of Bales and the Machines that Make Them

Author: Christy Mihaly

Illustrator: Joe Cepeda

Publisher/Date: Holiday House Publishing Inc./2018

Ages: 4-8

Themes: hay, farm life, girl power, seasons, rhyming

Short Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Every bale of hay has a little bit of summer sun stored in the heart of it— learn from a mother-daughter team how hay is made! 

Feeding her horses one cold and wintry day, a girl thinks about all the hard work that went into the fresh-smelling bales she’s using. The rhyming text and brilliant full-page paintings follow the girl and her mother through the summer as they cut, spread, dry and bale in the fields.

Mower blades slice through the grass./A new row falls with every pass./Next we spread the grass to dry./The tedder makes those grasses fly!

This celebration of summer, farming, and family, illustrated by Pura Belpré honor artist Joe Cepeda, includes a glossary of haymaking words, and a recipe for making your own switchel— a traditional farm drink, to cool you down in the summer heat.

Read a review at Picture Books Help Kids Soar.


Author: Jessie Haas

Illustrator: Jos. A. Smith

Publisher/Date: Greenwillow Books/1994

Ages: 4-8

Themes: hay, farm life, intergenerational, wildlife

Short Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Nora helps her grandfather mow the field by watching for little animals in the tall grass and warning him to circle the horses and mowing machine around them.

Read a review at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.

I paired these books because both provide insight into farm life and an essential activity on many farms, and they both feature female main characters. Told from the first-person point-of-view, the recently-published Hey, Hey, Hay! provides information on the process of baling hay and the seasons on a farm, all in lyrical, rhyming text. The older Mowing focuses on one day when young Nora and her grandfather cut the hay, while making sure they don’t harm any of the local wildlife. Read together, I think they provide insight into life on a farm, something many of us have not experienced.