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Over and Under the Snow

(Over and Under)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  4,148 ratings  ·  464 reviews
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. ...more
Hardcover, 44 pages
Published October 19th 2011 by Chronicle Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,148 ratings  ·  464 reviews

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Dave Schaafsma
A cross country skiing outing by dad and daughter becomes the occasion for a consideration of all the critters living (mostly) under the snow during the winter. A companion book with the same level of lovely illustration to Over and Under the Pond, which I may even like a bit more, but they're both great, encouraging us to look more closely at the outdoors and ask questions about the unseen. Comes with an appendix with more information about the winter habits of all the creatures featured in the ...more
Lisa Vegan
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: children fascinated by fauna; for learning about nature; those who like father-daughter stories
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
I love these children’s picture books that are non-fiction and about nature.

This is a wonderful book about various animals and how they survive during winter, those under the snow and those over the snow, and some that utilize both.

The story proper is a lovely daughter-father story and the illustration depict winter and the animals in a lovely way.

I especially appreciated the detailed author’s note at the end, which includes a list of all the animals mentioned in the book, complete with their i
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This tale is about a boy and his father cross country skiing while discovering the wonders of what's under the snow and what's over of the snow. A bit long for a picture book though. ...more
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kids; Parents
Recommended to Carmen by: New York Times Book Review
Over the snow, the fire crackles, and sparks shoot up to the stars. I lick sticky marshmallow from my lips and lean back with heavy eyes. Shadows dance in the flames.

A girl is skiing in the woods with her parents, and she notices animal life and sometimes discusses it with her father.

This was really good, I was surprised. For a book about subnivean life, it is surprisingly cute and interesting.

The illustrations are great - I especially like the animals. The cute fat rabbit, cute fat little mice
A beautifully told, beautifully illustrated and (bonus!) informative story about the animals that live under the snow (and some that live over it) in the winter time. It's a great introduction to the "subnivean zone" -- the network of tiny open spaces and tunnels between the snowpack and the ground. The back matter tells more about each animal--the only thing I would have liked is information about the parts of the country in which the animals can be found (for example, white-tailed deer are hig ...more
Both lyrically sweet and factual (and primarily presenting a father and daughter on a bracing, exhilarating and also educational winter wonderland cross-country-skiing excursion through the fields, meadows and woods of a Northeastern continental USA or indeed als an Eastern Canada winter scene of snow and ice), Kate Messner's Over and Under the Snow should be considered as both a glorious family-themed reading pleasure and also an informative, enlightening educational teaching and learning tool ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
A little girl goes cross-country skiing over the snow with her father, while he points out the various animals that live under the snow. Knowing that little animals are burrowing around in the area between the snow and the ground makes me hesitant now to walk out into my yard or into a field for fear of stepping on something unseen! What interested me the most was the picture of the queen bumblebee hibernating in the snow. I didn't know that queens survive alone until spring, when they start a n ...more
La Coccinelle
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, children
Our library had all three books in the Over and Under series, so I thought I'd check them out. While I can't say I absolutely loved this first one, I still think it's a strong picture book.

The narrative tells the story of a child and their father who are cross-country skiing. Along the way, they see many signs of animals. Some live above the snow, and some live in the subnivean zone, which is a pocket formed between the snow and the ground. Each animal is illustrated in a simple, bold style.

I do
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jfic
I love the art - it has elements of collage, screen print, and papercut, as well as pencilled parts adding accents. Each page has an animal living under the snow and the design makes great use of the wide open space above and the cozy space below the ground - we follow a girl and her dad as they ski across the country over the snow, talking about what lives under the snow. Snowflakes fall, and little touches of color are everywhere, although the palette remains largely blues, whites, beiges, bla ...more
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Part nonfiction, part narrative about a girl and her father on a cross-country skiing adventure, this book discusses the hidden life in winter's subnivean zone, or the area right above the ground and below the snow.

I loved the cool illustrations and the feeling of calm that the white space in each picture provides. There's also a helpful index in the back that talks about the subnivean layer and gives a brief infobite on the animals mentioned.
Beautifully illustrated and written of what happens "over and under the snow." The Author's Note explains more about the animals in the "secret kingdom under the snow."
A great way to teach about hibernation told from a child's perspective. Sure to become a classroom must-have.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Animal Lovers / Those Who Appreciate Lovely Illustrations
A young girl enjoys a night-time skiing trip with her father in this gorgeous picture-book, while underneath the snow, in the subnivean zone, a host of wildlife is occupied with their own concerns, from sleeping to foraging for food. The snow-bound world seems still and quiet to the girl, but in reality, there is a wealth of activity taking place, just beneath her feet...

A simple but informative text (augmented by an excellent afterword that discusses the animals mentioned) is paired with breath
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lyrical and informative text combines with serene and evocative illustrations for a compelling package. As the narrator and her father ski slowly through the woods, they see evidence of animals above the snow. When the father tells his daughter of the "secret kingdom" under the snow, the reader is presented not only with the goings-on above the snow, but with pictures and text that show how other animals adapt to the winter season. From the shrew and the vole making their way through tunnels, to ...more
Carol Royce Owen
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My only complaint with this book is it took me too long to get it. What a treasure! It was unavailable for a while, but it finally came yesterday. I had to laugh though, because I had checked on it so often, and thought maybe the order wasn't coming, so somehow I ended up ordering three copies. I usually get angry at myself when I do this, but not this time. I know this will be a book that many of my colleagues will want to borrow for their classes. There is so much it can be used for, between i ...more
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Great for a discussion on Winter animals
Shelves: picture-books
A wonderful story about animals found over and under the snow during the Winter time which opens up the discussion to animals that hibernate. I also learned that the layer between the snow and ground is called the "subnivean zone". Full of fascinating facts and chalked full of usefull links to other books on the subject. ...more
May 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is a children’s book. A father and child go skiing into the forest and it tells the tale of all the woodland creatures’ activities both above and under the snow. I felt that it was slow and went on for too long.
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Jul 02, 2012 rated it liked it
So so. Words don't feel like a child's voice. Interesting info about the animals but kind of dry. Illustrations are fine but nothing special. ...more
Cathy Mealey
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Do you think you know all about snow? This winter we have certainly had many, many opportunities in Boston to watch the fine flakes fall, to slide and glide, to shovel and plow. But I guarantee that even if you feel a little weary of the ice and cold, Kate Messner’s delightful book Over and Under the Snow will restore your appreciation for the magic that takes place in nature’s secret subnivean kingdom.

A girl enjoying a day of cross-country skiing with her father narrates the story, describing w
Joannah Keats
Aug 05, 2013 rated it liked it
“Over the snow I glide, past beech trees rattling leftover leaves and strong, silent pines that stretch to the sky. On a high branch, a great horned owl keeps watch. Under the snow, a tiny shrew dodges columns of ice; it follows a cool tunnel along the moss, out of sight.” So goes this unique picture book following a child and her father as they cross-country ski through the woods in the middle of winter. The pair makes observations about the world they see around them, and inferences about the ...more
Nov 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Despite the fact that snow has fallen, throwing a blanket of quietness across the world, an observant young girl notices how active many animals are; for instance, the deer and a fox in the forest as she and her father ski. Beneath their feet, though, there are all sorts of living things, including shrews, voles, bullfrogs, a black bear, and even a queen bee, using the snow as protection from the cold or waiting out the winter beneath it. The mixed media illustrations are impressive, showing the ...more
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
I was very excited to see Over And Under The Snow on display at the SCIBA Trade Show yesterday. Messner is such a versatile author - moving between Middle Grade novels, to early chapter books to picture books - and she does it all well.

I know I need to take a closer look at this one since the setting wasn't conducive to really exploring the book, but I loved how the world of winter is depicted by what is both above the snow and then also under it. There is a simple brilliance to the book and a
Sarah BT
Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
When it snows where do the animals go? Told through parallel verse, we see what happens above the snow and underneath. The narrator is skiing over the snow and reader's get a glimpse of what is going on underneath her feet as she makes her journey. The text and illustrations are both beautiful and the book ends with an author's note discussing how animals survive in the snow. There was a point where a fox jumps on a mouse scurrying under the snow which might be a bit unsettling for young sensiti ...more
While cross country skiing in a winter woods a father and daughter explore and imagine the critters living over and under the snow. Christopher Silas Neal's retro inspired illustrations peak the imagination as he reveals the layers we see and those we can't. Kate Messner's text perfectly engages curiosity, giving just enough detail to entice readers to want to learn more. Helpfully, the back Author's note give brief detail about each animal pictured (who knew about Queen bees' lonely winters?) a ...more
Grass_Roots Books and Music
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, _neé
Are you looking for a holiday book for a little one who has all the classics? Look no further! Over and Under the Snow is filled with wintery goodness starting with its beautiful color palette and retro mixed-media illustrations. This book takes a seemingly desolate monochromatic world and brings it to life with excitement, adventure, family-bonding, and basic science and natural history marvelously woven together. You will enjoy learning about the secret worlds of animals living above and below ...more
Britt Guild
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is a beautiful book with lovely illustrations of how the natural world continues to go on under endless layers of snow. The reader learns about hibernation to survival in a different winter climate. I like how the author emphasizes how amazed we humans should be at the world that still goes on beneath our feet under the snow. There is a secret world under the snow that we cannot hear or see, but it is a world that draws us in to understand.

But under the snow is a secret world of squirrels
This is a fascinating nonfiction picture book that tells the story of all of the forest animals that live in the subnivean zone, "a network of small open spaces and tunnels between the snowpack and the ground. It's created when heat from the ground melts some of the snow next to it and leaves a layer of air just above the dirt and fallen leaves." While the narrator is skiing on top of the snow and looking at deer, foxes, and owls, there is a busy world of activity with beavers, mice, and other a ...more
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous picture book with simple and beautiful text. A girl and her father are cross country skiing over the land. She notices the animals around her, both over and under the snow. Two of my favorite parts were the end notes, where Kate goes into a little more detail of all of the animals discussed in the book, and the author note, where you learn that Kate wrote the first draft of this on a school bus coming back from a field trip. Both will be great to share in writing workshop. Thanks for an ...more
Julie Esanu
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely story of a young girl cross-country skiing with her father into the woods, where she encounters signs of animals both over and under the snow. Messner's text combined with Christopher Silas Neal's illustrations provide readers with a glimpse of animal activities in the winter. Additional information about the animals included in the book is provided in the endnotes, making this a wonderful addition to any classroom or school library for animals and winter units. I plan on pairin ...more
Shawn Thrasher
Oct 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
The title page doesn't say "illustrated by" or "pictures by," it says "art by Christopher Silas Neal - and that's an apt description. These (like many of the pictures in children's literature) aren't merely illustrations, each page is really a moving and mysterious work of art. Using a style and color palette reminiscent of a 1940s Little Golden Book, Neal's art brings to life the cold, "subnivean" (I learned a new word!) world of winter both above and below the snow. The prose isn't quite as be ...more
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Kate Messner is an award-winning author, TED 2012 speaker, and former middle school English teacher. Her books for kids include THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z.,SUGAR AND ICE, and EYE OF THE STORM (Walker/Bloomsbury Dec. 2010) the MARTY MCGUIRE series (Scholastic), SEA MONSTER'S FIRST DAY, and OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW (Chronicle, Books). Kate also wrote SPITFIRE and CHAMPLAIN AND THE SILENT ONE, bot ...more

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Over and Under (4 books)
  • Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt
  • Over and Under the Pond
  • Over and Under the Rainforest

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