Summertime Sleepers: Animals that Estivate. Melissa Stewart. Illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen. 2021. [April] 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]
First sentence: Yawn, stretch, blink! As warm weather spreads across the land, hibernating animals spring to life. But soon another group of animals searches for shelter. They settle into cool, snug spots and sink into a summertime sleep called estivation.
Premise/plot: Summertime Sleepers is a nonfiction picture book perfect for elementary age readers. Chances are you've heard--and read--plenty of books about hibernating animals: both fiction and nonfiction. Everyone knows about hibernation. But did you know that some animals sleep during the summer?!?! This nonfiction picture book highlights those animals that estivate!
Some of the animals include: convergent ladybugs, mourning cloak butterflies, land snails, Christmas island red crabs, African lungfishes, Mangrove killifishes, California tiger salamanders, pixie frogs, spotted turtles, leopard geckos, desert hedgehogs, and yellow-bellied marmots.
My thoughts: Every generation gets better nonfiction in my opinion. This one is PACKED with information. And it delivers that information in a handful of ways. There is a primary narrative that tells a whole story. But there are also sidebars to provide further information. (Though these sidebars aren't in boxes, they are set apart from the primary narrative, and are in a smaller font.) Each animal is also highlighted in a sketch pad illustration with even more details. Some animals are shown in their actual size. But when they aren't shown in their actual size, there's a hint as to how big or how little they are.
The book concludes with several pages of back matter. (More about animals that estivate, estivation versus hibernation, continue your exploration, author's note, illustrator's note, selected sources).
I really appreciate books that pack in as many I DIDN'T KNOW THAT FACTS as possible in forty pages.
© 2021 Becky Laney of Young Readers