Over and Under the Snow

Cover of Over and Under the Snow


  • Illustrated by Chris Silas Neal
  • Age Range: 1 and up
  • Hardcover: 44 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (October 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811867846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811867849
  • Winner of the 2012 Golden Kite Award from SCBWI
  • E.B. White Read Aloud Award for Younger Readers Finalist
  • NSTA/CBC Outstanding Trade Book for Science
  • Capitol Choices Noteworthy Books for Children & Teens
  • New York Times Notable Children’s Book
  • Winter 2011-2012 Kids IndieNext Pick
  • Kansas Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Award Nominee
  • Great Lakes Great Books Award Nominee
  • New Hampshire Ladybug Picture Book Award Nominee
  • Virginia Readers’ Choice Award Primary Nominee
  • Illinois Monarch Award Nominee

Over the snow, the world is hushed and white. But under the snow exists a secret kingdom of squirrels and snow hares, bears and bullfrogs, and many other animals that live through the winter safe and warm, awake and busy, under the snow. Discover the wonder and activity that lies beneath winter’s snowy landscape in this magical book.

“Messner packs much information into the serene wintry landscape, beautifully captured in Neal’s stunning retro-style illustrations. Calm, lovely and richly informative.”

~New York Times

“Straddling the informative and the evocative, this lovely study of the ways animals spend the winter in a “secret kingdom under the snow” combines Messner’s (Sea Monster’s First Day) graceful prose (“Over the snow, the fire crackles, and sparks shoot up to the stars. I lick sticky marshmallow from my lips and lean back with heavy eyes”) with debut illustrator Neal’s quiet, woodcut-like portraits of the snowy forest.”

~Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

“An adult and child cross-country ski through a winter forest wonderland, beautifully rendered through Messner’s spare, poetic words and Neal’s block-print-looking mixed-media illustrations.”

The Horn Book, starred review

“A good choice for winter reading, this quiet but eye-opening picture book could heighten a child’s awareness of the natural world.”


“The lyrical descriptions of the text and the gray/brown/ice-blue palette of the illustrations leave readers with a retro feel that harkens back to the earlier days of children’s books and bygone times when life seemed simpler. Utterly charming, and informative, to boot; readers brought up on a diet of rhymes, bright colors, and adorable fluffy animals will find its simple beauty a balm.”

~Kirkus Reviews