Over and Under the Snow: Review and Free Activities

Inside: A book review of Over and Under the Snow PLUS 10 book-related activities.
Hello! This is an update of a post I did a few years ago. Be sure to read the whole post as I've added 5 new links to some truly wonderful book-related activities.

If you don't have Over and Under the Snow, you need to buy it! It's a beautiful book and one of my favourites:)

Author: Kate Messner

Illustrator: Christopher Silas Neal

Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2011

Theme: Winter, Animals, Snow

Intended Audience: Ages 4 to 9

Summary (from Amazon): "Over the snow, the world is hushed and white. But under the snow exists a secret kingdom of squirrels and snow hares, bears and bullfrogs, and many other animals that live through the winter safe and warm, awake and busy, under the snow. Discover the wonder and activity that lies beneath winter's snowy landscape in this magical book."

Opening Lines:  Over the snow I glide. Into woods, frosted fresh and white.

Why I Love This Book:  One of the reasons is that it fits in perfectly with what I'm teaching. But it's more than that. I just love the illustrations. I'm not sure how it was done. The inside cover just says "mixed media". But they're simple, beautiful, peaceful and enchanting. And the text follows suit.


1. A video of a red fox hunting in the snow:

2. Winter Landscapes: This beautiful art lesson is free from Deep Space Sparkle. Click the pic below to find the lesson on Patty's website.

Over and Under the Snow book review with lots of follow-up activities!

3. Winter Tree Art:

Over and Under the Snow book review with lots of follow-up activities!

I put painters tape on construction paper. 

Then the kids painted the paper with white acrylic (tempera would be fine, too).  

I peeled off the tape (you need to do this before the paint dries ~ it's easier to get off that way). 

Once the paint was dry the kids used black crayon to trace the trees, add bark, and some of them chose to draw little animals under the snow.  

4. Sherron Gerard has this wonderful 1-page freebie. It's a simple readers response page that was made for this book!  You can click her pic to see it on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Over and Under the Snow book review with lots of follow-up activities!

5. I have a post where I share 5 different snow poems


6. Kinder Binder offers this free sheet that your students can use to draw the different places animals will hide in the winter.


Over and Under the Snow book review with lots of follow-up activities!

7. Here's a little colouring book from The Natural Homeschool called "Animals That Adapt in Winter". I think this would be perfect to pair with some informational writing about each animal and how they adapt.


Over and Under the Snow book review with lots of follow-up activities!

8. You definitely need this free set of Animals in the Winter Cards. These were created by a fellow British Columbian. Her store is called Sam's School Stuff. She includes beautiful photos of 18 different animals with a short write-up about each. 


Over and Under the Snow book review with lots of follow-up activities!

9. The Cub Collective has a 10-page guided writing booklet called Animals in Winter. It's also free!

Over and Under the Snow book review with lots of follow-up activities!

10. Under the Snow is very similar to Over and Under the Snow. If you click on the image it will take you to a post where I have a LOT more winter resources.

Happy Reading!



  1. These look like such cute books! Thanks for posting about them Barb!
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets.

  2. Looks like another beautiful book. And I love your tress.

    rubberboots and elf shoes

  3. You have picked more great books! What fun tree art!
    Conversations in Literacy

  4. I love the tree art! I'm not sure about the charcoal though...I'm trying to picture that in my head ... nope... not going to do it. lol

  5. That's a beautiful book. Love your tree art too! School starts for me Monday and I'm planning some winter activities with snowmen and snowflakes. It didn't get over 50 degrees here today but it's supposed to be 70 next week. Go figure!
    First Grade Found Me

  6. This was one of my favorite picture books of last year, Barbara. I am so glad you have added it and some super activities to our PPBF list.

  7. I picked that book up last year at the library and I am so excited to see it is in the book orders this month! The owl in it means that it must be in my classroom library! The only way we seem to be able to get snow in our forecast is to bring it in with books and polyester fill!
    Owl Things First

  8. Another beautiful book! I love the illustrations. Forest animals are so interesting to minders too! They have bee busy building little homes out of anything and everything. I'm adding those trees to my list for art lessons as we are doing mixed mediums this month. Thanks liz:)

  9. Those are some beautiful illustrations, and your tree art looks great. :)
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  10. Darn, that book was in the Scholatic book clubs last month and I didn't order it! Wish I had, now.

  11. The books both look wonderful, I haven't seen either of them before. I love the tree paintings. I don't do a lot of painting, but that one would be a great simple one to start with.
    DeAnne @ First Grade and Fabulous
    has a cute Animals in Winter unit freebie that might go great with these books.

    Kelly @ I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

  12. I just read "Over and Under the Snow" on Thursday. It's such a beautiful book! I like your art project. They turned out really neat.

    First Grade Garden

  13. Beautiful book. Thanks for your creative art projects. Nice choice, Barbara.

  14. The pictures look beautiful in Over and Under the Snow!! I admit I sometimes buy picture books based on how the pictures look. lol. This would fit in great with our science cluster "Daily and Seasonal Changes." I love the forest animal poster idea! I will have to use that next year!

    The Reading Corner

  15. Beautiful book, and the tree project is marvelous!

  16. I love both of these books. It's interesting: Stewart's, though lyrical, is straight nonficiton, while Messner's has a fictional plot line, yet teaches a lot about hibernation. Children can learn so much from both books. It's fun to read them both and compare and contrast.

  17. We don't get much snow here, but I know that we have some creatures that live underground during the winter. I can smell them. And I would love to know who's down there! This is a pretty book -- I like the illustrations. Thanks for sharing!

  18. This is adorable! I love the detail of the story and how you incorporate it into your lesson. I'm your newest follower. I'm on my way to 100 followers and giveaway. Please stop by!
    Keeping Up With First Grade

  19. Hi, I am Lily. I really like your blog it's got quite a lot to it and it looks amazing.
    Heres a link to my blog http://ladylilly.edublogs.org/
    Keep on blogging!

  20. Barb - that book is beautiful...thanks for sharing it with us.
    Traditions Laughter and Happily Ever After

  21. I just found your blog through a Pinterest link and I love it. I love your Friday Picture Book posts. I am always on the looking out for new books and ways to connect them - especially to art. Thanks for this book and the ideas.

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  22. I've said it before and I'll say it again...you are ONEderful!!!! I love this book and I love your review. Of course, your activity ideas are just perfect! Nice job!

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