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The Big Snow

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  4,166 Ratings  ·  246 Reviews
When the geese begin to fly south, the leaves flutter down from the trees and the cold winds begin to blow from the north, the animals of the woods and meadows, big and small, prepare for the long, cold winter ahead when the countryside is hidden under a deep blanket of snow. They gather food and look for warm, snug places in the ground, trees, caves or thickets, where the ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published April 1st 1967 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published 1948)
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Jason Koivu
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
* * * Read and reviewed with my niece Emma * * *

I was unsure how The Big Snow would go over with Emma. This slow-moving book about what animals do when winter approaches just might be too slow for this little rambunctious 6-year-old. I was pleasantly surprised to find my niece quite attentive throughout.

Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised. This is a Caldecott winner after all. Still, it's from 1949 and its pictures aren't as colorful or in-your-face-cheerful as the books kids are used to th
We had a little snow dusting here yesterday, so I thought it was the time to read the book, The Big Snow. Every other page is a color hand painting and every other page is a black and white sketch. The art is really beautiful.

The story is simply animals are getting ready for winter and some fly south and others stay. A big snow then covers the land and the animals have to find food. It has a lot to do with which animals hibernate and which don't.

The kids thought this book was ok. They enjoyed th
Aug 01, 2014 rated it liked it
The illustrations are very nice but the "story" leaves something to be desired. It is repetitive yet not informative enough (covering many different animals and whether they do or do not migrate for the winter, yet not saying *why* often enough) and is loooong -- *I* was bored, I can't imagine a child sitting through it being entertained, unless they were very interested in the animal illustrations. Too, it seemed a bit odd to me that the whole book is about how animals survive the winter in the ...more
Book Concierge
All the creatures of the forest watch as the geese begin their migration to the South. This is the sign that they need to be well prepared for winter. Coats thicken, burrows are dug or warm caves found, stores of seeds and grain are secured. But when the big snow comes it is difficult for the squirrels, deer, cardinals, and other woodland critters to find food. A couple living in a little house comes to their rescue, shoveling out a path, and spreading out seeds, corn and bread for their forest- ...more
Kristine Hansen
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
A little author intrusion is a perfect sometimes.

I loved the illustrations. I loved how we saw every animal getting ready for winter. And how they wound up needing a little help all the same. Beautiful book and well worth the Caldecott medal. My only wish would be that all the pages would be in color and not just some of them.
Feb 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
This would be a good book for the late fall. Then you could look outside for some of the evidence of animals getting ready for the winter. This book would be a good hook for a science lesson on weather, animals, migration and hybernation. Students could choose an animal from the story to research. You could focus on why an animal prepares for the winter one way and not another.
Aly Gutierrez
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
*Book summary
-Depicts through a story, how different animals live through the winter months. The personified animals prepare for winter by gathering food, preparing to hibernate, or fly south. The winter came, and a little old couple helped the animals that were still around for winter. They provided food, and the animals gathered to enjoy. They wait for the ground hog to see his shadow to end winter.

*Caldecott Medal

*Grade level, interest level, Lexile

*Appropriate classroom use (subject are
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Book summary: This is an award-winning book. This book is about how various animals usually woodland animals prepare for the winter. It also shows how they find food after a big snowstorm with some help from human friends. This book can be educational to children.
Grade level: 1-5. I probably wouldn't use this much for the young kids such as in kindergarten because there were lots of words on each page.
Appropriate classroom use: I think this would be a good educational animal book for the kids.
John Matsuura
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Big Snow tells the story of all the animals in the woods who are getting ready for the winter. It starts out by following the geese south and then explains what each animal does for the winter. This book is a great way for children to learn about wildlife and how they prepare for cold weather and snow just like we do. The illustrations in this book were outstanding. The variations of different art styles is what really amazed me. One page would be drawn by what seemed to be pencil, while the ...more
Dec 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
1949 Caldecott Medal

Favorite illustration: p. 30-31 Two page spread of the houses shrouded in snow.

Favorite line: p. 34 The sparrows, the chick-a-dees, the cardinals, and a lonely robin scrambled out from their shelters and flew from tree to tree, trying to find a place to perch on the heavy snow-laden branches.

Kid-appeal: My seven-year old loved this one and was her favorite of the stack we read (all 1940s Caldecott books). Great for animal lovers, and would be excellent in a teaching unit on
Kennia Torres
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely book to read on a winter day, has a great story line of all the forest animals and how they prepare for Winter to come. The big storm that comes does not allow the forest animals to gain more food until a lovely man and woman begin to put out seeds and nuts for the animals. The rejoice and they can live through the winter thanks to the man and the woman. This story portrays great kindness and care to teach the importance of giving.
Chance Lee
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-it
Long book about animals who do not migrate during the winter. Similar to "Over and Under the Snow," which I read today, except much longer. It's an older book, so it's interesting to see how older children's books used many more words. I think kids today would be bored with it, because it does drag, and there isn't much of a story at all.
Feb 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book about animals in the winter. A perfect read for today since it ends on Feb 2- Groundhog Day and we put seeds out for our hungry animals in the snow.
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Caldecott Medal, 1949

Art Medium: Watercolor

Favorite illustration: page 25

Favorite line: "Snow, snow, nothing but snow--and the birds and the animals of the hill were very hungry."
Jun 11, 2018 added it
I liked how it showed the winter habits of lots of different animals, but I thought the story was a little too long and boring at times. I picked it up for the illustrations and they were lovely, but it would have been even more beautiful if they were all in color.
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feb-18, laurie-books
Great lesson on the animals of the forest and how they survive the winter months and cold snow.
I had forgotten what a sweet story this is with and by the Haders. The pencil drawings are detailed and accurate providing a fine contrast with the fully colored drawings and two-page spreads.
Tatam Kramer
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In Hader's "The Big Snow" various animals begin to prepare for winter. Before snow begins to fall all the animals involved within the story claim that they will be fine for the change in season, while the geese fly South. Undoubtedly the snow begins to fall heavily and the animals are faced with the problem of an efficient amount of food to allow them to survive throughout the storm. To their luck a friend aids them through their journey, and the animals are nourished throughout the story. What ...more
Stephanie Huntsman
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Big Snow, beautifully written and illustrated by Berta and Elmer Hader first discusses and shows the different woodland animals preparing for the winter. Some birds began flying south, while others stayed in their nests. Other animals such as the rabbit began eating more and more food to try and get their coats as thick and warm as possible in order to survive the winter. The mouse and chipmunk stocked up on food so that they would not be hungry for the winter. The groundhog went into hibern ...more
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
The artwork in this, a mix of black and white with full color, is extremely pretty and highly accurate. The animals could practically be scientific drawings, and yet they remain very engaging and just generally good. The story is simple: some animals go south, others stay, and an elderly couple feeds them when they're hungry. It's a bit longer than usual, but a good, solid children's picture book.
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Big Snow by Berta Hader and Elmer Hader looks at how a wide variety of animals prepare for winter, and how some friends help them survive after the big snow.

The text features a large font. Animals focused on include geese, rabbits, ground hog, chipmunk, blue jay, cardinals, sparrows, bluebird, robin, wood rat, pheasants, crows, squirrels, wood mouse, meadow mouse, deer, skunks, raccoons, & owls. The colorful vocabulary used include ebbed, stared, nibbled, pouches, perched, chirped, flic
Dec 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: weather-seasons
The Big Snow was published in 1948 winning the Caldecott award in 1949. This book is about the oncoming of winter and the preparation and survival tactics the animals use during the winter season. It starts off with the birds migrating south which helps all of the other animals know that it is time to prepare for winter as well. The book does a great job touching on which animals migrate to warmer climates and which ones stay. Furthermore, for those that stay it explains what they do instead of ...more
Shanna Gonzalez
Dec 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-04-08
This is a beautiful story for the budding naturalist and the compassionate reader. As winter looms, the woodland animals prepare for winter: rabbits grow thick coats, a groundhog prepares to hibernate, Mrs. Chipmunk and a wood rat retire to their winter stores, and many birds prepare to stay where they are. When a great snow falls, the animals of the forest cannot find food. But when an older couple scatter seeds, nuts, and bread crumbs outside their cottage, the animals throng around their home ...more
Jun 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Big Snow shows us how many creatures prepare for the winter. Some migrate south, others hibernate, others store food, and others just prepare in other ways. Even though some of the animals talk, I would be more tempted to say that this is an informational book more than any other genre. The authors, Berta and Elmer, did add some voices to what some of the animals could possibly be saying as they are preparing for winter, but the dialogue does not move the story.

Although the pictures are don
Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Caldecott Award Winner, 1949
I am surprised by how much that I liked this book; it sounds ridiculous to say that the illustrations are gorgeous (it is a Caldecott winner after all), but the illustrations are gorgeous! Some are black and white (and a thousand shades of gray), while others are in color (reflecting partly the technology of the time). The animals are realistically drawn. I will always pictures this artist team in their little stone house now (their self-portraits are included here).
Dec 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Synopsis: "When the geese begin to fly south, the leaves flutter down from the trees and the cold winds begin to blow from the north, the animals of the woods and meadows, big and small, prepare for the long, cold winter ahead when the countryside is hidden under a deep blanket of snow. They gather food and look for warm, snug places in the ground, trees, caves or thickets, where they can find protection against the icy winds.

It might have been hard for the birds and animals of the hillside to s
This wasn't a bad book, it was just boring. There was a lot of description about what each animal in the woods was going to do for the winter. It was amusing to begin with, but when it went on and on with little variation in description, it got tedious. Animals either went or didn't go and hunted for food or they didn't go and hibernated. This is the gist. By the time the big snow came my son had already run off to play with something or other, and he couldn't be lured back. After the big snow, ...more
Tracy Poff
Some animals leave for warmer climates when winter approaches, while others store up food or prepare in other ways. When a big snow comes and covers up all the food, the animals must rely on the kindness of an old man and woman who feed them to help them through the harsh winter.

The Big Snow by Berta and Elmer Hader is a children's picture book which receive the Caldecott Medal in 1949. It tells of how different animals prepare for the coming winter, and how they survive after a big snow.

The art
Mar 30, 2010 rated it it was ok
How should I best describe this book? The Big Snow is a very cozy story, perfect for reading out loud on a cold day in winter, or one of the final days of autumn, or just when burgeoning spring is right around the corner. This book reminds me of some of the early Walt Disney nature specials that I like so much, which make the observer feel as if he or she is part of the natural scene right alongside the animals living in the wild.

As The Big Snow begins, winter descends on the creatures in the w
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
This 1949 Caldecott Award winning book--for illustrations--has stood the test of time and still finds appeal among today's children. While kids may notice that not every page has color illustrations, it does not prevent them from being drawn into the story line beginning with the wild geese flying south signaling that it's time for the other animals to prepare for winter or to leave as well.

New teachers and parents may not be aware of this timeless classic which can be used with primary age stud
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