Frozen Wild: How Animals Survive in the Coldest Places on Earth
by Jim Arnosky
Sterling Children's Books - Picture book
I love all of Jim Arnosky's books because of the sheer beauty of his artwork but Frozen Wild is my new favorite by the artist, author, and naturalist. Subtitled "How Animals Survive in the Coldest Places on Earth," Frozen Wild describes a number of animals in different regions from pole to pole.
Arnosky begins the book by talking about how he started to paint the animals around his home during a snowy winter. He describes what animals eat and how they find food in the winter, whether on land or water, how they adapt to winter with coats or feathers that change in color and thickness and how birds can puff up to hold in warmth. He speaks of the challenges of walking through snow, why it's easier for some animals than others. He also talks about the warm homes some of them build and how smaller animals create tunnels rather than walking on top of the snow.
Although technically a "picture book" because there are large, beautiful paintings, there is some interesting information that could be used as a starting point for older children looking to learn about animals and the author advises readers to do their own observation of animals in a final note. Arnosky has been studying animals for decades; I always learn something from his books.
Highly recommended - Frozen Wild is a gift-worthy book, both informative and beautiful. There are several large fold-out spreads, so I would not give it to a youngster who has the tendency to tear pages unless there's an adult willing to watch over them. Otherwise, it's great for any animal lover and definitely would make an excellent Christmas gift.
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