Hibernation & Animals in Winter!
-- More Practice Readers
(a GoodBooksforKids Science List)

Winter's an amazing time. Plants die or go dormant, and animals alter the patterns of their lives, changing color, migrating, and even going dormant themselves.

Our first selection of books on Hibernation and Animals in Winter can be found here. We hope that these extra selections help you track down the perfect practice reader.

bookcover of Hibernation StationHibernation Station
by Michelle Meadows
Kurt Cyrus (Goodreads Author) (Illustrator)

Cute, cute, cute. We loved the drawings in this book that takes an ENTIRELY whimsical look at hibernation.
Fuzzy slippers, warm pajamas.
Forest babies and their mamas...

show up early at the station!
Time for winter hibernation.

excerpt from Hibernation Station
Recommend this one as a Good Seasonal Read-aloud to accompany more serious books.

Reading Information:
Word Count: 200

Page Count: 40

Reading Level: 1.5 / points: 0.5
AR quiz: 139421

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1416937889
  • see sample pages

Hibernation (Patterns in Nature series)
by Margaret Hall

Brilliant and interesting photographs, easily understood diagrams and a short, informative text are the highlights of this Patterns in Nature series, which features titles on day and night, hibernation, phases of the moon and seasons of the year.

Children will indeed choose this book by its cover: it depicts a huge brown bear sound asleep, eating grass and grabbing a fish from the river. In answer to the question on the first page, why hibernate? we see a picture of splotches of snow stuck to a bear surrounded by snow. Food is hard to find. We see tiny animals hibernating also, including clusters of bats that don t even go to the bathroom.

Getting ready to hibernate means getting fat on fish (bears), filling a burrow with acorns (chipmunks), or digging a warm hole in the mud (frogs). Each title features a pattern diagram on the last page--in this case getting ready, finding a den, hibernating, and leaving the den. Hibernating is one of nature's patterns. Children can see the principle and learn the words that explain that principle.

There is a very short index, a glossary, a list of additional books, and a reference to the Facthoundweb site with links to age-appropriate sites for each book. This is an outstanding series of concept books for new and pre-readers; the photographs make the book interesting enough to use with older children who struggle with reading and concepts.
--Childrens Literature Comprehensive Database, January 2007

Reading Information:
Word Count: 181
Page Count: 24
Reading Level: 1.8 / points: 0.5
AR quiz: 108397
Lexile: 390L

Hibernation by Mel HigginsonHibernation (Nature's Cycles)
by Mel Higginson

Table of ContentsHibernation
Animals That Hibernate
Body Changes for Hibernation


The table of contents for this book is so promising, but unfortunately the book really doesn't deliver, and the problem is the stilted text that reads more like a caption for the photographs, than an enthusiastic explanation of the wondrous phenomena that is hibernation.

excerpt from Higginson Hibernation
Opposite the full page photo of a bear who appears to be looking at a rock we get: "Like marmots, grizzlies fatten up in the summer and fall. Then they curl up and hibernate." Which is not to say that the book can't confirm a lesson that has already been learned.

Reading Information:
Word Count: 244

Page Count: 24
Reading Level: 2.0 / points: 0.5
AR quiz: 109821

  • Publisher: Rourke Publishing (FL)
  • ISBN-10: 1600441777
    amazon (we suggest you check your library for this one)

Do Polar Bears Snooze in Hollow Trees? A Book About Animal Hibernation
by Laura Purdie Salas

Examines where different animals hibernate.

Reading Information:
Word Count: 639
Page Count: 24

Accelerated Reading level: 3.1 / points: 0.5
AR quiz: 108823
  • Publisher: Picture Window Books
  • ISBN-10: 1404822313
  • amazon

by Carolyn Scrace

Explains the process of hibernation, describing how a dormouse prepares for the long sleep.

Reading Information:
Word Count: unkn
Page Count: 32
Accelerated Reading level: 3.3 / points: 0.5
AR quiz:

Why Do Bears Sleep All Winter? A Book About Hibernation
by Mary Englarby, Jane Duden, Bernd Heinrich

Provides an explanation of what hibernation is including why animals hibernate, and how they do it.

Notes: Despite the title, this book does not focus on bears, which has irritated quite a few reviewers. We suggest you do not buy it sight unseen.

Reading Information:
Word Count: 720

Page Count: 24
Accelerated Reading level:  3.6 / points: 0.5
AR quiz: 107722

Lexile: 750L

hibernation by Anita GaneriHibernation
(Nature's Patterns)
by Anita Ganeri

Anita Ganeri's Hibernation is one of my favorite books that I've reviewed thus far. At the mid-third grade level, it has great a lot going for it. There are great photographs and text that is large and easy to read. (I don't even need my glasses!)

One of the things I particularly like is the Pattern Framework that the author emphasizes. She writes that, "Nature is always changing. Many of these changes that happen follow a pattern. This means that they happen over and over again." And in fact, she ends the book with the emphasis that the cool-weather, warm-weather cycle is beginning again.

The other feature I love is that Anita finds fascinating examples to talk about. She mentions, for example, that the Poorwill is the ONLY bird that hibernates. (I didn't know that!) Here's a list of the table of contents so you can get an idea of all of the material that is covered.

Nature's Patterns
Winter Sleep
Storing Fat
A Place to Sleep
Settling Down
Slowing Down
Food and Waste
Waking Up
A Good Meal
Having Babies
Back to Sleep
Cooling Down
Fact File Glossary More Books to read Index

excerpt from Ganeri's Hibernation
Structurally, there is a photo on every page with a paragraph of text. There is also a text-balloon that explains what the reader is seeing. An example would be be: "A terrapin goes into its burrow and gets ready to hibernate."

Great photos and compelling information, this book is highly recommended.

Reading Information:
Word Count: 1,035

Page Count: 32
Accelerated Reading Level: 3.6 / points: 0.5
AR quiz: 86137

  • Publisher: Heinemann-Raintree
  • ISBN-10: 141091318X

What Is Hibernation? (Science of Living Things)
by John Crossingham

Hibernation is one of nature's greatest miracles, allowing animals to sleep through periods of extreme cold (and heat). From the tundra to the desert, this ability enables animals to live in some of Earth's harshest climates. Full-color photographs and vivid text combine to give children a view of the many different ways that animals "sleep it off". Highlights include: how an animal's body uses fat to survive and even wake itself up; how an animal finds and prepares its den for hibernation; animals that estivate, or hibernate to escape heat; animals that give birth and care for their young during hibernation.

Reading Information:
Word Count: 3,736
Page Count: 32
Accelerated Reading level: 5.3 / points: 1.0
AR quiz: 55008
Lexile: NC920L