Monday, February 1, 2010
Nonfiction Monday -- The Groundhog Day Book of Fun
Not to toot my own horn... Okay, I'm tooting my own horn.
The Groundhog Day Book of Fun by (me) Wendie Old. Illustrated by that talented lady sitting to the left of me in that picture at the top right hand side of this blog, Paige Billin-Frye. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whtiman, 2004. Still Available.
Tomorrow is Groundhog Day. The day when we get the news. The news whether Spring will be Early, or Late. It's the day when the groundhog (woodchuck/ whistle pig/ whathaveyou) comes out of his burrow, looks around, and checks for his shadow. (hmmm, why is it always 'his' shadow? Don't girl groundhogs do this too? Definitely a subject for further study.)
If he sees his shadow -- then there will be six more weeks of winter.
No shadow? Spring will come early.
If you want to learn the meteorological basis behind this groundhog lore, you'll find it on page 25 in this book.
You would expect a sunny day (when you see your shadow) to mean that spring will be early -- but no. A sunny day in February is usually caused by a high pressure system and is cold and dry. Very wintery. Warmer days have more moisture in the air, causing clouds -- and no shadows. And therefore more spring-like weather. (We can always hope, can't we?)
Page 7 for a description of the huge celebration in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania when they take Punxsutawney Phil out of his burrow and read a long, high-flaloutin speech about his prediction. (If you see the u-tube of this, check out the heavy gloves the groundhog handler has on --to protect himself from the snapping teeth of the grouchy groundhog who is not that happy to be pulled from a warm fake tree stump into the cold air surrounded by a screaming crowd.)
Page 28 for a list of all the other groundhogs in the United States and Canada, and the computerized ones in Europe.
Groundhog Day Party Plans-- child tested by me in library programs!
Info about Groundhogs, the animal.
Yes, this was a fun book to research and write.
Oh -- is that a real groundhog in that picture above, perched between Paige and me? No -- It's a puppet from Folkmanis.
There's a nice review of this book at Carol's Notebook .
Plus a mention of it at Mary Ann Dame's blog on February 2nd, Reading, Writing, and Recipes.
And lots of other Nonfiction Monday book reviews located just a click away at the Wild About Nature blog .