Saturday, February 25, 2023

Today's read... Winter in the Forest by Christine Copeland

While part of me is flower dreaming, I'm not quite ready for the season change, yet. I'm a winter fan, so when I saw today's read, I was intrigued. This is part of a seasonal series, and I believe, the second one so far. I have high expectations on the art end and hope it will glide into beautiful landscapes of snow and trees. 
Let's bundle up and find out what this read holds! 

by Christine Copeland
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 2 to 6

Winter in the Forest is the second in a series of picture books for pre-K and early elementary children about the natural world, in particular the deciduous forest of the American Northeast. This book depicts the cold stillness of winter and adaptations that plants and animals make during this long dark time. The three primary themes are snow and cold, long dark nights, and dormancy.  


The language of our books is lyrical, the images are entrancing and sometimes humorous but always realistic - think field guides for 3- to 8-year-olds. There is a tracking activity in back for young readers who go out in the snow.  


Children will learn the names and habits of forest animals and plants so that they can recognize them in natural settings. These books engage children's innate curiosity and connection to the living world so that they can learn complex principals in simple, age- appropriate language.  





Beautiful artwork invites for gazing and getting lost in a snow-covered world.

This book holds everything the title promises and offers a serene look at a snowy forest during winter and all the wonders it harbors. The entire thing is written in poetic form, which flows very well and is enjoyable to read. But the author doesn't forget that young listeners/readers have short attention spans. The poem's lines are simple and brief enough to maintain interest without loosing the beauty of the form. Plus, the text does not carry this read, but rather accompanies the illustrations and adds the perfect touch to the atmosphere. It's very well balanced for a picture book and does allow the gentle atmosphere to stay strong the whole way through.

The illustrations are created in watercolor and are lovely. While the scenes invite to dreaming, the details and interesting aspects aren't forgotten. Various forest animals appear, one by one, never with much announcement but with the same gentle atmosphere as a snowy winter holds. Not only will listeners recognize the animals but gain a little insight on which ones are common in a forest and what their activities might be. For example, while bears and frogs hibernate, owls fly and coyotes bark. This is all introduced slowly to allow listeners/readers to enjoy and consider each one. Then, as an extra bonus, the footprints of these creatures are in the snow. This isn't really pointed out during the read, but at the end of the book, there's a quick overview of the various prints and which 'creature' they belong to. This also invites listeners/readers to return to the story again and search them out on the second run-through.

It makes a lovely read for even younger listeners and is sure to be enjoyed during more than just the winter season.

And here she is...

Christine Copeland lives in the forest of Massachusetts with her husband Bill, a pediatrician, naturalist and teacher, and their dogs and cat. Her sons have fledged but return seasonally. Christine has a BFA from Cornell University and a master’s in education from Antioch New England. She combines her love for painting with her love for young children and nature-based education. She is an author/illustrator and paints in oil. Her work can be seen at and  



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