Lisa Herrington’s book, How Do You Know It’s Winter? introduces young children to the activities and changes in the environment that are associated with winter. Written for preschoolers, this non-fiction book uses simple sentences and full page pictures to convey the essence of winter in cold climates. Children living in the northern areas of the United States can identify with the pictures while children in warm climates learn about conditions they have probably never seen.
The book begins by welcoming winter with its howling wind, snow covered ground and leafless trees. It then shows four photographs of the same scene in different seasons, giving a very good idea of how different the seasons are in appearance. The text then shows various results of the cold weather like the formation of icicles and frost on the window, and the changes in animal and plant life, as well as changes in human activity. We see kids all bundled up shoveling snow, building a snowman, and sledding. Each two page spread includes a fun fact in addition to the text and full page photograph. Suggestions for further exploration, directions for an experiment, and s small glossary of words associated with winter complete the book
This brief introduction to winter gives a good idea of the way winter life in cold climates. The fact that the seasons are reversed in the southern hemisphere and that children in a country such as Australia are having summer while kids in the US are enjoying winter would be a good addition to the text. The inclusion of the address for the Scholastic Web site for further study of winter is a nice addition.