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Hibernation: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about hibernation?

Winter comes, the leaves fall, and all sorts of animals hunker down for their annual hibernation! For hard facts for your budding zoologist, you’ll want to turn to the non-fiction section or an encyclopedia, but for a gentle introduction to the animals who hiberate and a little of what that’s like, these are some of our very favorite books about hibernating bears (and snakes and skunks and more!)

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Top 10 Books About Hibernation

#1
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Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear
Written & illustrated by Monica Carnesi
Thoughts from Mom of Boys
This is such a fun story of best friends who can't always be together. Beatrice wonders where Bear has gone and when she finds out he is hibernating because it's Winter she decides to try and go along with him. When that proves to be difficult she finds another way to close the distance between the two friends. It is fun to read this with little ones who may not know what different seasons mean for different animals.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Beatrice & Bear meet one spring day and become best buddies. They play together through summer and fall. Then winter comes and Beatrice can’t find Bear anywhere. She hears he’s gone to hibernate – but where on earth is that? When Beatrice learns that hibernation is not a place and that Bear will be sleeping all winter long, she fears it will be a lonely season…unless she can come up with a brilliant plan. This delightful story of an irrepressible bunny will engage readers on many levels as it celebrates creativity, making the best of circumstances, and the joy of the changing seasons.

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#2
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Bear Is Not Tired
Written & illustrated by Ciara Gavin
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I love this story about Bear, who gets really tired as winter is coming (and he needs to hibernate), but he wants to stay up so he doesn't miss out on any of the fun. Bear's sweet family of ducks makes sure to include Bear as much as possible in their activities so he won't feel left out. :) This is a cute one!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Bear and his duck family do everything together. That is, until winter arrives. Bear is supposed to hibernate this time of year, but he doesn’t want to miss out on any of the fun. But can Bear really stay awake all winter long? Gentle humor and endearing illustrations bring a delightful twist to a bedtime routine that children and their parents will easily recognize.

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#3
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Over and Under the Snow
Written by Kate Messner & illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-8

Over the snow, the world is hushed and white, but under the snow is a secret world of squirrels and snowshoe hares, bears and bullfrogs, and many others who live outside in the woods during the winter.

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#4
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The Curious Cares of Bears
Written by Douglas Florian & illustrated by Sonia Sanchez
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

One family of bears does all their favorite things before it’s time to hibernate for the winter in this follow-up to The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits by the award-winning author and illustrator team of Douglas Florian and Sonia Sánchez, now available as a board book! The cares of bears are curious indeed, as you will discover, if you care to read. Join a family of bears as they have all kinds of fun throughout the seasons! From climbing up trees and stealing honey to giving bear hugs and lazing in lakes, these bears have many curious cares. But when winter comes, it’s time to hibernate. Can the cares of these bears wait until spring? The rhyming text makes this story a perfect read-along book for storytime!

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#5
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Shh! Bears Sleeping
Written by David Martin & illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
The illustrations are more realistic than not, and even though it's told in rhyming verse that clips along at a soothing pace, I still felt like it was teaching the cycle of hibernation in an informative way—I really appreciated that it went through an entire year.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In the fall When leaves turn red Bears know soon It’s time for bed Comes winter Comes snow Bears are ready Bears go In their cave Warm and deep Winter is time For bears to sleep

A lilting read-aloud text and stunning pictures combine to make an irresistibly appealing picture book that follows these fascinating animal friends through the cycle of the year. A page of facts about bears will answer young readers’ questions as they begin to explore the wonders of the natural world.

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$16.99
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$14.44
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$16.99
Used $3.00
Prices as of Jan 21
#6
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Bear Can't Sleep
Written by Karma Wilson & illustrated by Jane Chapman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Bear’s many animal friends try to help him get to sleep in time for winter hibernation in this companion story to Bear Snores On. It’s winter, and deep in the forest, Bear should be fast asleep. But when his friends come by to check on him, they realize that Bear is still awake! They brew him hot tea and sing him lullabies, but nothing seems to work. Can Bear get to bed? Or will he be up all winter?

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#7
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A Loud Winter's Nap
Written & illustrated by Katy Hudson
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato
Tortoise does not like winter and as such is adamant about going to sleep. Unfortunately, he's not too adept at picking his hibernation locations because he keeps picking spots next to his friends who are enjoying their winter activities. With each thwarted attempt at sleep, he grows grumpier and grumpier, but then something happens that changes his mind about the snow and cold. Maybe winter isn't so bad after all.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Unmoved by his friends’ attempts draw him out with singing classes and snowball fights, Tortoise tries to settle down for his annual winter nap and instead stumbles into a wonderfully icy experience.

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#8
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Bear Snores On
Written by Karma Wilson & illustrated by Jane Chapman
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In a cave in the woods, in his deep, dark lair, through the long, cold winter sleeps a great brown bear.

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#9
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Hibernation Station
Written by Michelle Meadows & illustrated by Kurt Cyrus
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This story of the hibernation train station is a fun, imaginative way for kids to learn about hibernation by seeing all the animals that come aboard the train. They'll relate to the troubles of getting to bed and falling asleep and the peace that comes when one finally drifts off. :)
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Everybody at the station! It’s time for winter hibernation! The sweet rhyming text of this book will calm even the most rambunctious kids and have them dreaming about what it’s like to hibernate. Young readers will be soothed and delighted as this story introduces them to different types of hibernating animals. The creatures on the train are preparing to snuggle into sleep, although with a passenger list that includes chipmunks, bears, snakes, hedgehogs, groundhogs, frogs, turtles, mice, bats, and more, there’s a lot of noise! Will the hibernating critters ever get to sleep? Take a trip to Hibernation Station to find out!

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#10
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Old Bear Board Book
Written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
Super cute board book illustrated beautifully by Kevin Henkes. There's not a ton here (it is a board book!) but I love the almost monochromatic spreads for each of the season pages as well as the easy-to-understand glimpse of hibernation this provides for little mind and little hands.
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Come explore the four seasons with Old Bear

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Hibernation and...

Books About Hibernation and Friendship

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Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear
Written & illustrated by Monica Carnesi
Thoughts from Mom of Boys
This is such a fun story of best friends who can't always be together. Beatrice wonders where Bear has gone and when she finds out he is hibernating because it's Winter she decides to try and go along with him. When that proves to be difficult she finds another way to close the distance between the two friends. It is fun to read this with little ones who may not know what different seasons mean for different animals.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Beatrice & Bear meet one spring day and become best buddies. They play together through summer and fall. Then winter comes and Beatrice can’t find Bear anywhere. She hears he’s gone to hibernate – but where on earth is that? When Beatrice learns that hibernation is not a place and that Bear will be sleeping all winter long, she fears it will be a lonely season…unless she can come up with a brilliant plan. This delightful story of an irrepressible bunny will engage readers on many levels as it celebrates creativity, making the best of circumstances, and the joy of the changing seasons.

Buy book
$15.99
Bookshop
$13.59
Amazon
$15.99
Used $4.00
Prices as of Jan 21
Add to list
Bear Is Not Tired
Written & illustrated by Ciara Gavin
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I love this story about Bear, who gets really tired as winter is coming (and he needs to hibernate), but he wants to stay up so he doesn't miss out on any of the fun. Bear's sweet family of ducks makes sure to include Bear as much as possible in their activities so he won't feel left out. :) This is a cute one!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Bear and his duck family do everything together. That is, until winter arrives. Bear is supposed to hibernate this time of year, but he doesn’t want to miss out on any of the fun. But can Bear really stay awake all winter long? Gentle humor and endearing illustrations bring a delightful twist to a bedtime routine that children and their parents will easily recognize.

Buy book
$16.99
Bookshop
$14.44
Amazon
$16.99
Used $16.99
Prices as of Jan 21
Add to list
KNOCK KNOCK
Written by Tammi Sauer & illustrated by Guy Francis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Knock Knock is a fresh and innovative method of humorous storytelling that uses knock-knock jokes to tell the story of Bear and his woodland friends Raccoon, Rabbit, Turtle, and others. With each new visitor, Bear grows increasingly frustrated at his lack of peace and quiet. Little does Bear know that his friends have a surprise in store for him – a happy hibernation party!

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. The Very Long Sleep - Bear, Fox, Chipmunk and Marmot are all very good friends. They think it would be wonderful if they all lived in one grat big house. Beat, Chipmunk and Marmot, however, forgot to tell Fox one small thing which makes for a very lonely winter indeed.

  2. Bear Has a Story to Tell - It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy. But first, Bear had a story to tell… Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn’t have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Toad? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through helping his friends get ready for winter, would anyone still be awake to hear his story?

  3. The Snowy Nap - When winter comes, Hedgie tries to stay awake so he doesn’t miss out on all the fun his friends are having. Snow is on the way, and as Hedgie trundles around the farm all his friends tell him of the winter-time fun he will miss as he hibernates–Icicles decorating the chicken coop! Lisa making snowmen! The pond turned to slippery ice! It sounds so amazing, Hedgie decides to stay awake instead of going to his burrow. But then a snowstorm starts. Luckily, Lisa finds him and brings him inside so Hedgie gets to see the wonders of winter from inside the cozy house.

  4. All the Fun Winter Things #4 - There's too much fun to be had in the snow to sleep through the winter season! At least that's what Louise thinks. In this story designed to engage early readers, charming characters combine with simple text, lively illustrations, and laugh-out-loud humor to help boost kids' confidence and create lifelong readers!

Want to see books about friendship?

Books About Hibernation and Seasons

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The Curious Cares of Bears
Written by Douglas Florian & illustrated by Sonia Sanchez
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

One family of bears does all their favorite things before it’s time to hibernate for the winter in this follow-up to The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits by the award-winning author and illustrator team of Douglas Florian and Sonia Sánchez, now available as a board book! The cares of bears are curious indeed, as you will discover, if you care to read. Join a family of bears as they have all kinds of fun throughout the seasons! From climbing up trees and stealing honey to giving bear hugs and lazing in lakes, these bears have many curious cares. But when winter comes, it’s time to hibernate. Can the cares of these bears wait until spring? The rhyming text makes this story a perfect read-along book for storytime!

Buy book
$7.99
Bookshop
$6.79
Amazon
$7.99
Used $7.99
Prices as of Jan 21
Add to list
Shh! Bears Sleeping
Written by David Martin & illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
The illustrations are more realistic than not, and even though it's told in rhyming verse that clips along at a soothing pace, I still felt like it was teaching the cycle of hibernation in an informative way—I really appreciated that it went through an entire year.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In the fall When leaves turn red Bears know soon It’s time for bed Comes winter Comes snow Bears are ready Bears go In their cave Warm and deep Winter is time For bears to sleep

A lilting read-aloud text and stunning pictures combine to make an irresistibly appealing picture book that follows these fascinating animal friends through the cycle of the year. A page of facts about bears will answer young readers’ questions as they begin to explore the wonders of the natural world.

Buy book
$16.99
Bookshop
$14.44
Amazon
$16.99
Used $3.00
Prices as of Jan 21
Add to list
Old Bear Board Book
Written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
Super cute board book illustrated beautifully by Kevin Henkes. There's not a ton here (it is a board book!) but I love the almost monochromatic spreads for each of the season pages as well as the easy-to-understand glimpse of hibernation this provides for little mind and little hands.
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Come explore the four seasons with Old Bear

Buy book
$7.99
Bookshop
$6.79
Amazon
$7.99
Used $7.99
Prices as of Jan 21
Honorable Mentions
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  1. When It Starts to Snow - Various animals tell what they do and where they go when it starts to snow.

  2. Such a Little Mouse - Explore the world of such a little mouse–from the bestselling author of LITTLE BLUE TRUCK! And way down deep in the hole lives a mouse. Such a little mouse, with his smart gray coat, with his ears pink as petals, with three twitchety whiskers on each side of his nose. With Alice Schertle’s sweet descriptive language and touching illustrations from Stephanie Yue, a little mouse interacts with the world around him. Every season of the year, such a little mouse pops out of his hole and goes out to explore the wider world.

  3. Leaves - This simple, charming story of a young bear’s first autumn is perfectly suited to board book format. Bear is surprised when the leaves start falling off the trees, but when he tries to reattach them, it doesn’t work. Eventually, he gets sleepy, and burrows into the fallen leaves for a long nap. When he wakes up, it’s spring-and there are suddenly brand-new leaves all around, seeming to welcome him. With its childlike main character and graceful illustrations, Leaves is a great way to teach the youngest children about the changing seasons.

  4. Every Autumn Comes the Bear - Each autumn, just before the onset of winter, a bear shows up in the rugged woodland behind a family farm.

Want to see books about seasons?

Books About Hibernation and Sleep

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Bear Can't Sleep
Written by Karma Wilson & illustrated by Jane Chapman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Bear’s many animal friends try to help him get to sleep in time for winter hibernation in this companion story to Bear Snores On. It’s winter, and deep in the forest, Bear should be fast asleep. But when his friends come by to check on him, they realize that Bear is still awake! They brew him hot tea and sing him lullabies, but nothing seems to work. Can Bear get to bed? Or will he be up all winter?

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$10.89
Used $3.52
Prices as of Jan 22
Add to list
A Loud Winter's Nap
Written & illustrated by Katy Hudson
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato
Tortoise does not like winter and as such is adamant about going to sleep. Unfortunately, he's not too adept at picking his hibernation locations because he keeps picking spots next to his friends who are enjoying their winter activities. With each thwarted attempt at sleep, he grows grumpier and grumpier, but then something happens that changes his mind about the snow and cold. Maybe winter isn't so bad after all.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Unmoved by his friends’ attempts draw him out with singing classes and snowball fights, Tortoise tries to settle down for his annual winter nap and instead stumbles into a wonderfully icy experience.

Buy book
$22.65
Bookshop
$19.25
Amazon
$19.99
Used $15.58
Prices as of Jan 22
Add to list
Bear Snores On
Written by Karma Wilson & illustrated by Jane Chapman
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In a cave in the woods, in his deep, dark lair, through the long, cold winter sleeps a great brown bear.

Buy book
$7.99
Bookshop
$6.79
Amazon
$7.99
Used $7.99
Prices as of Jan 21
Honorable Mentions
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  1. Hibernation Station - B is for Bookworm -

    This story of the hibernation train station is a fun, imaginative way for kids to learn about hibernation by seeing all the animals that come aboard the train. They'll relate to the troubles of getting to bed and falling asleep and the peace that comes when one finally drifts off. :)

  2. Sleepy Bears - Winter is here, and in winter, bears sleep. But how do you convince six not-so-sleepy bear cubs to go to bed? Mother Bear, of course, has found a way—with a cozy rhyme for each of them. Once again, beloved author Mem Fox enchants little ones—and their parents—with a tender bedtime story, irresistibly illustrated by Kerry Argent.

  3. Good Night, Baby Bear - As winter approaches, Mother Bear must bring a snack, a drink, and finally the moon to her cub before he can go to sleep in a cave.

  4. Snuggle Down Deep - Follow along as animal families snuggle down deep for the wintertime in this rhythmic and charming picture book perfect for little ones while they snuggle down for hibernation. It’s wintertime, a quiet time, no creatures left in sight. They’re dreaming, snoozing, snoring through each morning, noon, and night…. As winter arrives and fluffly snowflakes begin to fall, animal families gather together to snuggle down deep against the cold. They prepare and cozy up their dens, nests, and underground tunnels. Then they curl up nose to nose, cheek to cheek, snuggle down deep, and sleep.

Want to see books about sleep?

Books About Hibernation and Bedtime And Dreams

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Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep!
Written by Maureen Wright & illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

As winter comes and Big Bear prepares to hibernate, he keeps thinking he hears Old Man Winter giving him exhausting orders that prevent him from sleeping.

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Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep
Written by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple & illustrated by Brooke Dyer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When winter’s snow creates a soft blanket of silence, nothing is more comforting than curling up under a cozy quilt. Whether slumber awaits in a warm bed, a rocking hammock, or a nest of leaves, the feeling of comfort and the infinite world of dreams are universal. This reassuring lullaby will calm any child to sleep, while Brooke Dyer’s gentle illustrations show that the little details in everyone’s niche truly make a place into a home.

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Hibernate With Me
Written by Benjamin Scheuer & illustrated by Jemima Williams
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Hibernate with Me is a gentle reminder that no matter how sad, small, or scared you feel, you are always worthy of love, and that brighter days are always ahead.

Sometimes you feel small. Sometimes you feel shy. Sometimes you feel worried, and you might not know why.

Sometimes you want nobody to see. Darling, you can hibernate with me.

If you feel scared or lost, or even just a little shy, love means there will always be a place to hibernate together.

A place that’s cozy, warm, and safe.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. William's Winter Nap - Just when William is ready to fall asleep in his cozy cabin, there is a tap on his window. A chilly chipmunk asks to stay, and Will scooches over in bed. “There’s room for two – I’m sure we’ll fit.” The chipmunk is just the first in a parade of mammals, each bigger than the last, until the bed is full. Then a note is slipped beneath the door: “Do you have room for just one more?” William tugs the door to see who’s there . . . only to find a great big BEAR! Is there enough space to spare? Will the other animals be willing to share? <p/> Kids will delight at each new guest’s arrival and enjoy counting along as the animals keep scooching over to fit in William’s bed. Linda Ashman’s clever rhymes set up each page turn with suspense and humor, and the expressions on Chuck Groenink’s characters are perfect. This is must reading for the dark time of year when everyone wants to hibernate!

  2. A Story for Small Bear - In this sweet, lyrical picture book, perfect for bedtime, a playful cub prepares for hibernation, saving just enough time for Mama to share a story before they must settle down.

  3. Hibernation Hotel - It’s time for Bear to hibernate, but he just can’t get to sleep because his cave is crowded with all of his friends. Raccoon snores, Beaver fidgets, and Skunk doesn’t exactly smell too good. So Bear gets a great idea and reserves a room at the Hibernation Hotel. This is the life! he exclaims, eating all the snacks he wants and bouncing up and down on the bed. But for some reason, at bedtime, he still can’t sleep. Could something be missing?

Books About Hibernation and Winter

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Over and Under the Snow
Written by Kate Messner & illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-8

Over the snow, the world is hushed and white, but under the snow is a secret world of squirrels and snowshoe hares, bears and bullfrogs, and many others who live outside in the woods during the winter.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$16.80
Used $10.76
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Go Home, Little One
Written & illustrated by Cate James
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Join Florence the hedgehog and she sets out on a winter adventure in this beautifully illustrated picture book.

Winter is approaching, and Florence the hedgehog wants to go outside and play in the woods with her squirrel friends before it’s time to hibernate. As it starts to get cold, Florence isn’t sure she’s having fun anymore. With the help of her friends, is she able to make it home in time for dinner and her long winter snooze?

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Time to Sleep
Written & illustrated by Denise Fleming
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
I felt like both the story and the illustrations were both a little lackluster, but if you're looking to help kiddos learn more about hibernation I like that this book shows lots of different animals that hibernate (snails, woodchucks, etc.)... not just bears!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Young children join Bear, Snail, Skunk, and Turtle as they try to avoid going to sleep for the winter, in a vividly illustrated bedtime companion by the creator of the Caldecott Honor Book In the Small, Small Pond.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Froggy Gets Dressed - Rambunctious Froggy hops out into the snow for a winter frolic but is called back by his mother to put on some necessary articles of clothing.

  2. Sleeps for the Winter - Based upon the award-winning series, Magic School Bus Scholastic Readers make learning an adventure! <BR>Ms. Frizzle always takes her class on cool trips. This time, they head to Animal Land Park, and the bus turns into a bear. When it starts to get cold, the bear goes to sleep. What should the class do? <BR>Hop on the Magic School Bus and learn all about how different kinds of animals survive through the winter.

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