Groundhog Day!

Groundhog Day! 10 min. Dist. by Dreamscape. 2016. $38.99. ISBN 9781520045832.
K-Gr 2—Gail Gibbons's brightly colored, detailed illustrations are minimally animated in this video version of her book. Dressed for the cold weather, observers wait for the groundhog to come out of his burrow. Limbs move in various scenes, but most of the time the narration by Qarie Marshall occurs against static pictures. Long ago, other celebrations occurred around this time, which is about midway through winter. People watched for hibernating animals to predict the arrival of spring; the groundhog wasn't the only harbinger of a break in weather. The day as we know it originated with settlers in Pennsylvania, where groundhogs were plentiful. Each year, a groundhog is designated "Punxsutawney Phil," and on the morning of February 2, it is pulled out of its burrow to determine whether it sees its shadow and winter will last six more weeks.(If it doesn't, an early spring will follow.) Stories about Groundhog Day are clearly framed as tales that some people believe, while information about groundhogs—their deep and long burrows, mating habits, size, lifespan—is clearly communicated for the intended audience. Viewers will be impressed by a groundhog's digging skills and the fun tidbit that hibernation is the only time its front teeth stop growing.
VERDICT Facts and stories combine to make for a solid and entertaining offering for elementary school and public libraries.

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