________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 14 . . . . March 17, 2006


Snowshoe the Hare. (Red Go Bananas).

Kathryn White. Illustrated by Ruth Rivers.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2006.
48 pp., pbk. & cl., $7.16 (pbk.), $18.36 (RLB).
ISBN 0-7787-2699-1 (pbk.), ISBN 0-7787-2677-0 (RLB).

Subject Headings:
Arctic hare - Fiction.
Hares - Fiction.
Animals - Fiction.

Grades 2-3 / Ages 7-8.

Review by Bev Dunlop.

** /4


Snowshoe the Arctic hare sniffed the autumn air outside his nest. Something rustled in a bush and suddenly Snowshoe's friend Red Squirrel leapt out. They rolled into a furry ball and tumbled down the hillside, landing with a splash at the water's edge. “Be quiet you two,” said Otter angrily. “How am I going to catch fish with you making such a racket? Winter's coming and you're playing? Who will you play with you when Snowshoe turns white and melts with the snow?” Otter asked.

Snowshoe imagined himself as white as the coming snow and shivered. It couldn't be true. “Whatever am I going to do?” asked Snowshoe.


The “Red Go Bananas” series are meant to help children switch over from picture books to chapter books. The books initially offer a story in which the plot revolves around a science-based problem. After the story concludes, a short section provides some science facts related to the story, and then readers are invited to engage in one or more activities related to the science “lesson.”

     In Snowshoe the Hare, Snowshoe and his animals friends are worried. Otter says that, when winter comes, Snowshoe will turn white and then, when spring arrives, Snowshoe will melt like the snow. The animals’ challenge becomes that of finding a plan to save Snowshoe. Various solutions are posited, including the idea that, if Snowshoe hides from the sun, then its rays will not be able to melt him. Various animals suggest the places where they hibernate while the white swan points out she flies south when the weather begins to get cold. As Snowshoe gradually begins to turn white, starting with his legs, his animal friends propose to recreate him next year from snow, and they draw a picture of him in the mud so that they will recall what he looked like. Finally, Mr. Lemming appears and explains how he, too, used to be brown but now is white. He goes on to explain how his white coat blends into the snow, thereby making it easier for him to hide when Wolverine comes searching for food. He reassures Snowshoe that his brown coat will return in the summer, but that, in the meantime, his new winter white coat will hide him from his enemies, Grizzle and Wolverine.

     Following the story, White includes a five-page section entitled "This is the Earth" which briefly describes how different parts of the Earth have different climates, how different animals adapt to the weather and season, and how the seasons change. Readers are then encouraged to move from being passive learners to being more active by making a chart of the weather where they live for a week. Children’s artistic interests are also encouraged via the simple, four-step illustrated plans for constructing a snow globe from items found around the house.


Bev Dunlop, who lives in Oakbank, MB, is a Stay-at-Home-Mom and part-time helper at Oakbank Elementary School.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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