Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Secrets of Winter by Carron Brown & Illus by Georgina Tee

My cousin-in-law is an Usborne book consultant. I had never bought anything from her because I was pretty sure that the books were fairly generic and mass produced. (I am a book snob.) However, two nature books at a second hand book shop caught my eye recently and was surprised to find they were Usborne. Hm.... So when she had a book party before Christmas, I decided to give it a try. I bought this book because I liked the front cover. 

Don't judge. 

And, that whole shine a light thing?! I was a little curious.

Endpaper love!

The illustrations are as fabulous as the cover--all snowy and woodsy. See those large blank spaces? Well hold the page up to light or a flashlight and....

...tada! Snowflakes show through. The kids are fascinated by this. (I am a little bit too....) 

But as a realistic parent and a school librarian, I am not terribly keen on the whole, manhandle-one-page-to-shine-a-light-through thing. I mean, page tears and rip outs are only a matter of time. 

Fortunately, you can also read this book and skip the entire shining a light bit and it still works. You flip the page over and there is a black and white page of whatever is supposed to shine through. I don't think not shining a light detracts much from the story. But kids are more fascinated by the light shining bit.  


What has landed in that tree? 

A flock of waxwings. They eat the tree's berries. 

You have to flip the page anyway to read the words, so you can just save yourself the bother and the book the danger, by skipping the light thing. 

There is something about the contrast between the black and white pages and the colored pages that I like. 

The words are minimal enough to hold even pre-k-er's attention. 

Aren't these pictures lovely?!

Since part of the common core curriculum has a habitat focus in the lower grades, I am a little excited about this book. 

(I know. Only geeky school librarians are excited about things like that.) 

A fox creeping through the shadowy, snowy forest by a frozen lake in the moonlight. My heart just squealed with delight!

Of course, the fact there is a full moon while it is snowing is a little interesting. But it makes for a pretty picture. 

And at the end of the book, it delves a little deeper into several habitat specific things, which is perfect for older kids. 

My biology, book loving self is a fan of this book. 

The jury is still out on Usborne fiction (I bought two short chapter books, but I haven't had time to read them yet) but they sure do nature proud!

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