Summer Sleepers-- A Perfectly Wonderful Picture Book


Title: Summer Sleepers: Animals that Estivate

Author: Melissa Stewart

Illustrator: Sarah S. Brannen

Publisher: Charlesbridge, 2021


Ages: 4 and up


Themes: Animals, Estivation, Nature, STEM






Look at the the book review is a video.


Activities and Resources:


Here's a link to Melissa's resource guide.


Experiment 1:

Grab a pad of paper and something to write with. Head outside on hot day. Run around in the sun for 2 - 5 minutes. When the time is up make notes or pictures of how you feel. Are you thirsty? Hot? Sweaty? Crabby? Happy? Breathing heavily? Hungry? Is your skin flushed? Do you want to keep going or do you need a break to cool down? Is your heart pounding?


Now find a shady spot and take a seat. Close your eyes. Feel the breeze on your skin. After 2 - 5 minutes makes some notes. How do you feel? Ask the questions from above.


Be sure to drink plenty of water and maybe estivate for a bit in the cool of your home. You now have a little bit of an understanding about why animals will estivate in the heat of summer.


Experiment 2:

Get a thermometer. (The dollar store often has them.) Let the thermometer sit in the sun for about 5 minutes. Check temperature and write it down. Not move the thermometer to that shade tree. After 5 minutes write down the temperature. Has it changed from the sunny spot? Where else can you test temperatures? What about on concrete vs blacktop? The driveway vs. the yard? Maybe you can dig a whole and test the temperature underground vs. above ground. (Be sure to fill the hole back in so no one gets hurt.)


Where would you go to cool off based on the temperature readings?


Melissa Stewart has so much to offer on her website be sure to check it all out. This link goes to the page about this book.


You can see what Sarah Brannen is up to on her website.


Support the author and illustrator by purchasing the book from Bookshop.org, your local bookstore, or Amazon. Support your library by borrowing the book. If your library doesn't own it, be sure to recommend they purchase it.


The links to Bookshop and Amazon are affiliate links. Any money earned from your purchases will be used to purchase more books to recommend. Some of the books I buy, I keep for my personal collection, and some of them, I donate to Little Free Libraries or to kids who I believe will love the book as much as I do.







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