Chirpy Poems for a Snowy Day

Hope you’re enjoying the fresh snow and the magic of a transformed landscape! Have you spotted any tracks in the drifts outside, signs of animals out looking for food? For a child wondering how wild animals get through the winter, we have a treat to share with them: Snow Birds by Kirsten Hall, a beautiful book of nature poems.

Hall’s poems honor the hardy, resourceful birds that stay behind in the winter cold. We meet the snowy owl, “a hook-billed forest ghost”; a ruffed grouse, sleeping under the snow in her “white-walled winter dorm”; and restless flocks of snow bunting flying down from the Arctic: “Chi-tik! Chi-tik! Come quick! Come quick! A flurry is hurrying through the air. Twinkling lights in magical flight. They’ll land again soon—but where?” The verses weave in each snow bird’s calls, like the tree sparrow’s Teedle-eet eet and the joyous What-cheer, cheer, cheer, birdie-birdie-birdie! of the northern cardinal when winter finally melts into spring.

The poems are enhanced by illustrations by Jenni Desmond, an award-winning artist. Desmond’s depiction of black rosy finches hopping around a snowbank, leaving behind erratic little trails of footprints, matches beautifully with the bouncy couplets of the poem.

Snow Birds will inspire you to fill up a bird feeder and watch the blue jays and black-capped chickadees excitedly stop by. The wintery words and images in this picture book beautifully capture how tough and courageous wild things can be.

Enjoy exploring the winter landscape, with an ear out for the calls and songs of the snow birds.