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Author: Jenkins, Martin
Illustrator: Jones, Richard
Publisher: Candlewick, Press
Year Published: 2018
ISBN: 9780763696009
Grades: Grade 1, Grade 2, Kindergarten

The Squirrels’ Busy Year – A First Science Storybook

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If your literature resources to support the Grade One Science unit on Seasonal Change are getting worn and outdated this is a new picture book to add to that collection.

On the beginning page there is a brief discussion aimed at the adult reader with some facts about the earth’s rotation and its effect on seasonal change before launching into this non-fiction narrative that introduces young readers to the changing weather and seasons by following the life of two squirrels over the course of a year.  Beginning in winter in a cosy nest, finding buried acorns in the cold and snow, moving to the budding trees of spring, summer storms and gathering in the fall.  The simple text highlights the weather, flora and fauna as each new season arrives, but the details are in the illustrations.  Richard Jones has primarily used earth tones – muted shades of brown, orange, blues and greens – to evoke the quietly busy world of the squirrels.  Throughout the scenes there is a burrowing owl that keeps watch, and from whom the squirrels make a narrow escape.  The evocative illustrations capture the safety of the nest, the speed of the owl, life in the mud of the pond, the swirl of the winter snow.

End pages offer some questions to engage young readers in a discussion of seasons and weather, plus an index.

Literature support for the Grade 1 Science units – Needs of Plants and Animals; and Seasonal Change.



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