Inside: You’ll find a book review and 4 book-related educational activities.
Since it’s very cold today and we have a forecast for snow I thought The Snowy Nap by Jan Brett would be the perfect choice for today’s book review.
Author & Illustrator: Jan Brett
Publishing: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2018
Themes: Winter, Hibernation, Hedgehogs
Hedgie is getting sleepier and sleepier and all he wants to do is settle down for a long winter’s nap. As he trundles off to bed the farm animals insist on regaling him with stories of snow and ice and all the delights he’s going to miss. Hedgie decides to stay awake one more night. But it’s freezing outside and he’s not in his snug burrow, so Lisa brings him into her warm house. To Hedgie’s wonderment he’s able to experience a few days of a glorious winter!
“Young Hedgie sniffed the chilly wind. Snow is on the way, he thought. I‘ll just take a last ramble around the farm. He did not want to miss a moment.”
Jan Brett is easily one of my favourite children’s authors, so it’s no surprise I love this book. I don’t love it so much for the story (although it’s very sweet) as I do for the illustrations. Her watercolors are just so detailed, realistic, colorful and charming that I can’t resist her books.
I especially love the little borders she adds to each page. I always point out to the students to look closely at those because they tell another little story and often help the reader predict what’s coming next.
This book is the perfect snowy day read and I highly recommend it either for your classroom, library or at home.
1. Research hedgehogs. Where do they live? What do they eat? What is their life-cycle? How long do they hibernate? What type of animal are they? Do they have enemies? How do they defend themselves? You can find some great information and a video on Easy Science for Kids.
2. Have a discussion about whether or not hedgehogs make good pets. The answer, BTW, is no. Despite how completely adorable they are to look at, they’re solitary animals and quite fragile, not to mention those prickly spines. It might be fun to give each child in your class a pocket chart card with an animal name. Have the students take turns coming up to the pocket chart and categorizing whether or not their animal would make a good pet. Ask them to give one or two reasons to explain their choice.
3. Let’s draw hedgehogs. You knew I couldn’t resist! There are lots of tutorials out there but I especially like this one by Easy Drawing Guides.
4. Sun Hats and Wellie Boots has a fun idea for making clay hedgehogs. I think these would also work very well with salt dough. And if you can’t find lots of little twigs then pretzels or toothpicks would work well, too.
5. Be sure to check out all my other WINTER ACTIVITIES!
P.S. For more great reads, please see Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday post!