What It Is
How do animals begin their hibernation? They board the train at “Hibernation Station” of course! Dressed in cozy pajamas and fuzzy slippers, all kinds of animals climb aboard the slumber-bound vessel made of hollow logs. As they settle into their sleeping chambers, the animals find that their hibernation place is not very peaceful. They complain about snoring, cramped quarters and get all wet when the train dips into a stream. And like human children, the smaller animals tend to be scared of the dark, ask for snacks and other nocturnal requests. In a very maternal fashion, the bear conductors bring everyone together for some “TLC” and all settle in for the long winter’s nap.
Why It’s Fun
Hibernation is a fascinating concept and one that’s fun to explore with the little ones. January seems to be an appropriate time to think about sleeping all winter as we recover from the holidays and endure endless snowstorms. Michelle Meadows’ rhyming story is a good bedtime read, and Kurt Cyrus’ colorful illustrations are both humorous and realistic. As the smaller animals experience discomfort, it is heartwarming to see the bears’ maternal instinct kick in, which also delivers a subtle message about compassion and helping others.
Who’s Going To Love It
The story’s brevity and large illustrations will appeal to the younger end of the publisher’s recommended age range. Though it is a fantasy, teachers and parents can use it to introduce the concept and discuss how animals really hibernate. With limited options for outings with the kids in the hard winter months, this book gives us a nice reason to visit the library.
Less than two minutes
7 out of 10
By: Michelle Meadows, Illustrated by Kurt Cyrus
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2010)
Approximate retail price: $16.99
Publisher’s recommended ages: 3 - 7