A Warm Winter Tail
Written by Carrie A. Pearson
Illustrated by Christina Wald
Have you ever wondered how animals stay warm in winter? Have you ever wonder if they had that same question about us? A Warm Winter Tail, by Carrie A. Pearson, is a delightful story about the winter adaptation strategies of animals written with a fun little twist. Each page begins with the same question, “How do humans keep warm in winter, Mama?” asked by a sweet little creature who’s nestled with its family for winter. Each time Mama gives a little explanation, as if she really understood human behavior.
Each page highlights one of twelve animals and in asking the question of how humans keep warm in winter, our little friends are really giving away how they, themselves, keep warm. Our little fox says to his mama, “Do they wrap their tails tight ‘round their bodies’ just right, as heaters to keep out the chill?” In his question, we’ve discovered how foxes keep warm in winter without even realizing we’ve learned something new!
This is a page turner and not only because of interesting facts, but because each page is a gorgeous full spread of each creature family settled for winter. Pictures are realistic, detailed, and colorful. Illustrator Christina Wald’s art work in this “tail” absolutely brings it to life! While reading it aloud for the first time, I was eager to see what animals filled the following page. Children will respond in the same and be compelled to keep reading. Also, on each page is a small silly picture of a human trying to keep warm the way the animal does. We got lots of giggles from these little surprises as we imagined having fox tails, living in a burrow under the snow, or eating like a bear!
A Warm Winter Tail is written at a third grade reading level, but is rhythmic, which makes it a good fit for younger readers as well. As a read aloud, it could easily be used for children as young as preschool age as well as in a classroom environment. A Warm Winter Tail concludes with four pages of extra learning fun. The first two pages are full of more detailed facts about winter adaption. Winter animal matching activities and animal classes make up the last couple pages. These four “bonus” pages give far more information about winter adaptation of animals than the rest of the book and are perfect for teachers or parents to read together with their children. It’s a perfect book to use as a launch pad for a unit study or to jumpstart a nature or winter study. It would be easy to further the learning by adding reading activities or coloring pages.
As if this little gem of a book wasn’t enough, a free 55 page teaching activity guide from its publisher, Sylvan Dell Publishing, takes the educational possibilities of A Warm Winter Tail to a whole new level. The guide is full of reading worksheets, coloring pages, sorting games, math games and reading games. This resource alone gives the teacher/parent everything they’ll need to make A Warm Winter Tail into an exciting unit study for any elementary aged child. The guide, other resources, and support are available online at http://sylvandellpublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=WarmWinter.