Three Reads for a Winter Walk in the Woods

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Choosing books to bring along on our adventures is one of my favorite Wandering preparations.  Those books always color my memory of a trip.  For some reason, this past trip to the Białowieza Forest, the pre-trip book selection didn't get done.  So, our books were a hodgepodge of all the books we each brought along.

But, the minute we got into those woods, I knew exactly which books that were sitting home on our shelves that we should have had along.  As soon as we got home again I pulled them all out.  It was the perfect time, as all of our curiosity was peaked by our wanderings in the woods.

Our trip was light on actual animal sightings, but their signs were everywhere.  Lots of our conversations revolved around musings on which of the tracks we were seeing were deer, and which were bison.  Was that one there a wolf or a lynx?  Just knowing that these animals had been through this same little patch of ground was thrilling. 

For Three Reads this week I'll share the books we enjoyed retrospectively for our Winter Walk in the Woods.

Over and Under the Snow
By Kate Messner

Over and Under the Snow describes a winter journey through the frozen woods.  In simple words and crisp pictures, it tells the story of what lives above the snow in winter, as well as the secret kingdom below.  In the back, there's more detail about each of the animals mentioned.  I love this one for its beautiful pictures and gentle text.  They capture the awe of the woods in the winter.

I have a love-hate relationship with non-fiction books.  Some of my children have been absolutely obsessed with non-fiction picture books.  Which is thrilling for all the knowledge they're learning.  But, so many of them are so dry and longwinded, it can be terribly painful to have to read them aloud.  This is one that gets the balance of information and readability right.  Told from the perspective of the bugs who inhabit the woods, it answers the question that I never could when my children would ask me: What happens to insects in winter?  In the back, it has a few ideas for science explorations to try.

This is a fun book to throw in our backpack when we're headed out on a hike, winter or summer.  I'm not an instinctive naturalist, so this book is a huge boon when we're out in the woods and I don't even know what I should be looking for.  A whole new world opens up for us when we're looking for the signs that animals left behind.  Winter is a particularly great time to find them, as their tracks and scat are so much more evident in the snow.  It's amazing how much farther our youngest hikers can go when they're searching the woods for animal signs.


How about you?  What books do you like to take with you into the Woods in Winter?

ReadMicah BremnerComment