Hibernation & Animals in Winter!
- a GoodBooksforKids Science List

Here is a list of books about hibernation at the easiest levels.
We've reviewed the books we could get our hands on, and included exclusive inside peeks to help you choose the right book.

If you have any favorites, do let us know.

bookcover of Animals In The FallAnimals In The Fall
By Gail Saunders-Smith

This book has super simple text.
  • Geese fly south.
  • Some butterflies fly south.
  • Deer grow winter coats.
I would use it for children who need to build confidence. Or contrarily as a book for toddlers and preschoolers who are not yet reading. There are so few words that adults can point as they read, demonstrating to children how we read from left to right, and how words are separated by spaces, etc.
Table of Contents
Animals That Travel
Animals That Change
Animals That Work

Words to Know
Read More

Internet Sites

Index/Word List

Word Count: 35
Page Count: 24
Accelerated Reading Level: 1.1/ points: 0.5
AR quiz: 32077
Lexile: 380L
    This item is eligible for Amazon's 4-for-3 promotion

    Animals In Fall
    by Martha E. H. Rustad

    Description: In fall, animals are busy getting ready for winter. See how hard they work to make sure they have enough food and shelter for the cold winter ahead.

    Reading Information:
    Word Count: 111
    Page Count: 24
    Accelerated Reading level:  1.2 / points: 0.5
    AR quiz: 115416
    Lexile: 220L
    • Publisher: Capstone
    • ISBN-10: 1429600225

    Animals In Winter
    by Martha E. H. Rustad

    Description: Snow falls, animals hibernate, and people bundle up, its winter! Check out all the changes that come with longer nights and colder temperatures.

    Reading Information:
    Word Count: 148
    Page Count: 24
    Accelerated Reading level:  1.9 / points: 0.5
    AR quiz: 123650
    Lexile: 400L
    • Publisher: Capstone
    • ISBN-10: 1429622008

    Time to Sleep
    by Denise Fleming

    This is a cute, colorful book for youngsters. It's actually more of a bedtime book than a 'straightforward' book about hibernation. But I'm including it because I think children will enjoy the story and get the background message about how animals react when the seasons change. Note: Kirkus and the School Library Journal both praised it.

    The story begins with Bear who sniffs the air. He decides winter is coming, but before he pads off to his cave, he tells us that he needs to tell Snail.
    Snail was lowly slithering
    up one leaf and down another.
    "Snail," rumbled Bear,
    "winter is in the air.
    It is time to seal
    your shell and sleep."
    Snail realizes the truth of this, but before he can sleep he has to tell the news to Skunk. Skunk needs to tell Turtle, and Turtle must notify Woodchuck and so on.... The book ends with Ladybug waking Bear to tell him that it's time to hibernate.

    This isn't a book I'd necessarily buy for the home shelves, but it would be a nice book to share at home or school.

    Reading Information:
    Word Count: 431
    Page Count: 32
    Accelerated Reading Level: 2.1 / points: 0.5
    AR quiz: 19249
    Lexile: AD310L
      Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
    • ISBN-10: 0805067671
    • Sample pages
    This item is eligible for Amazon's 4-for-3 promotion

    A Bed For Winter
    by Karen Wallace

    Description: When a dormouse sets out to find a safe place to spend the winter it is the start of a dangerous journey. Stunning photographs combine with lively illustrations and engaging age-appropriate stories in this multilevel reading program guaranteed to capture children's interest while developing their reading skills and general knowledge.

    • Paperback: 32 pages
    • Publisher: Dorling Kindersley
    • ISBN-10: 0751328324
    • Look Inside available

    Reading Information:
    Word Count: 490
    Accelerated Reading level:  2.3 / points: 0.5
    AR quiz: 45915
    Lexile: 240L

    This item is eligible for Amazon's 4-for-3 promotion

    Animals in Winter (Let's-Read-and-Find... Science 1)
    by Henrietta Bancroft and Richard van Gelder
    Helen K. Davie (illus.)

    This book at the 2nd Grade level features colorful, interesting drawings and text. The discussion begins with Fall and a discussion of animals that migrate. It proceeds to show familiar examples of birds and Monarch butterflies that migrate before introducing hibernation and animals that hibernate. Here is some sample text from two pages about bats.

    Many bats fly south, too. But some bats stay in the north all
    Winter. When the weather gets cold, they go to a cave. There is
    no wind or snow in the cave. The bats sleep there all winter.

    They do not eat. The live on fat stored inside them.
    They do not move. They hardly breathe. They sleep,
    sleep, sleep.
    They hibernate.

    Other adaptive behaviors are also discussed. The authors talk about how animals 'squirrel' away food and how they must work hard to find food under the snow. I was surprised that they didn't mention how animals change color, nor go into much detail about what the characteristics of hibernation are. Still "Animals in Winter" is an appealing book that I think younger will readers will like. Doesn't contain the in-depth information that third and fourth graders may be ready for.

    excerpt from Bancroft's Animals in Winter
    Reading Information:
    Word Count: 634
    Page Count: 32
    Accelerated Reading level:  2.5 / points: 0.5
    AR quiz: 18851
    Lexile: 380L

    What Do Animals Do In Winter?
    by Melvin and Gilda Berger
    Susan J. Harrison (Illus.)

    I liked this little book because it is jam packed with useful information. It asks and answers the question of 'what animals do during very cold winters'. It introduces children to hibernation and migration and some adaptive behaviors that animals exhibit, and it gives plenty of examples.

    It has a section that describes the northern and southern hemispheres and it's explained that when one hemisphere is experiencing winter, that the other is having summer. (The book does not explain that the angle of the earth is responsible for this.)

    excerpt #2 What Do Animals Do in Winter
    When the authors discuss migration, for example, they discuss how Robins only travel a short distance, while Arctic Terns travel the longest. They also talk about Monarch butterflies, Reindeer, and whales.

    And when discussing hibernation not only groundhogs are discussed, but bats, ants, bees, bears, raccoons.... So you can see that many animals are discussed.

    excerpt #1 What Do Animals Do in Winter
    The only section I would have changed is the one mention of mating. It's just a casual mention, but I assume that many moms are like me and really don't want to get into a long discussion with a 4 or 5 year-old about what mating is. Otherwise an excellent book. The artwork is okay.

    There is a two-page map that shows which regions are warm all the time, and which experience greater temperature changes.

    Reading Information:
    Word Count: 1,371
    Page Count: 48
    Accelerated Reading level:  2.7 / points: 0.5
    AR quiz: 31032
    • Publisher: Ideals Publications
    • ISBN-10: 0824953142
    This item is eligible for Amazon's 4-for-3 promotion

    Don't Wake Up The Bear!
    by Marjorie Dennis Murray

    GoodReads rating::: 4.00 stars · 24 ratings

    Description: On a cold, snowy evening, several animals snuggle up to a hibernating bear in order to keep warm.

    • Paperback: 32 pages
    • Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Children's Books
    • ISBN-10: 076145330X
    • Look Inside available

    Technical Stuff
    Reading Level: 3.1

    This item is eligible for Amazon's 4-for-3 promotion

    Undetermined Accelerated Readers

    We attempted to find the Accelerated Reading designation for the following books, but we either found that no specific number was given, or else conflicting numbers. (It happens.) The generic 2 rating means that the book is supposed to be a the '2nd Grade level' but that a specific number was never determined. Unfortunately for teachers, these books do not have test numbers.

    by Robin Nelson

    Description: Hibernation is a cycle that some animals go through every year. Most people know that bears hibernate. But why do they hibernate? And what other animals hibernate?

    • Paperback: 23 pages
    • Publisher: Lerner Classroom (2010)
    • ISBN-10: 0761356819
    • Look Inside available

    Technical Stuff
    Reading Level: generic 2

    This item is eligible for Amazon's 4-for-3 promotion

    Every Autumn Comes The BearEvery Autumn Comes The Bear
    by Jim

    This is a lovely, poetic book that I enjoyed sharing with my children. In it, Jim Arnosky tells about the bear that comes to his property every year when the leaves turn gold and red, and begin to fall. Jim follows the bear as the season changes. He tells us what bear sees and feels and smells. And I like it because of it's kid-friendly artwork and because I like verse and like to expose my children to poems.

    There's a sample page below which if you click on it, your browser ought to make larger. And here are two examples of prose.
    There is a wooded hill
    behind our farm.

    It is a wild and rugged
    place with as many rocks
    as trees.

    Every autumn,
    after the leaves have fall,
    a bear shows up.

    And from the end of the book,
    Nestled there against
    cold rock, with only fat
    and fur to keep him warm,

    he sleeps all winter long.

    excerpt from Every Autumn Comes The Bear
    Recommend sharing this one! Excellent read-aloud.

    Reading Information:
    Reading Level: uncertain. Different sources give different levels.
    Page Count: 32
    Lexile: AD410L
    • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
    • ISBN-10: 0698114051
    • Sample pages
    This item is eligible for Amazon's 4-for-3 promotion

    The Animals' Winter Sleep
    by Lynda Graham-Barber

    Description: Taking nonfiction into the realm of bedtime read-to-me stories, this rich, melodic text paired with detailed color pencil illustrations describes how 13 North American animal species—such as black bear, ermine, pileated woodpecker, porcupine, river otter, and ruffed grouse—survive harsh winter snows snug inside their dens, nests, burrows, and lodges. Additional information, geared to very young children, includes animal winter survival adaptations, such as the foods they eat, nesting materials, camouflage, and predator survival along with a series of questions that encourage children to look back at the illustrations for clues. A line art diagram of the final panorama illustration that identifies the location of all 13 animal species is also included.

    • Paperback: 24 pages
    • Publisher: Birdsong Books
    • ISBN-10: 0966276167

    Reading Information:
    Reading Level: generic 2

    This item is eligible for Amazon's 4-for-3 promotion

    For more practice readers on Hibernation and Animals in Winter check our new list