When Winter Comes: Discovering Wildlife in Our Snowy Woods | w.b. Aimée Bissonette & illustrated by Erin Hourigan


Out Now from Sasquatch Books; 32 pages

About the Author: “Aimée Bissonette was born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, the sixth of seven children. She grew up with her suitcase never fully unpacked—her family moved many times and she attended 8 different schools before graduating from high school. Aimée earned her Bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University and her Law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. She has worked as an occupational therapist, teacher, lawyer, and small business owner. In addition to her books for children, Aimée has published a book for K-12 teachers and administrators on the legal issues associated with technology in the schools. She lives with her family and dogs in Minneapolis, Minnesota” (Bio from the author’s website).

Find Aimée Bissonette on the following platforms:

About the Illustrator: “I am an author/illustrator in Portland, Oregon.  I grew up in Southern California playing in the waves and dreaming up stories everywhere I went. I studied illustration at Cal State Fullerton before moving to Oregon, where I’ve learned to trade the waves for pine trees and rivers.  I love to travel, and whether I’m out on a hike, or people watching in a coffee shop, you will almost always find me with a sketchpad and pencil in hand” (Bio from the illustrator’s website).

Find Erin Hourigan on the following platforms:

“We know we share this wild and wonderful wintery world.”

Although the woods appear empty after the snow falls, the young narrators in When Winter Comes: Discovering Wildlife in Our Snowy Woods know better. The story follows a family enjoying fun winter activities such as sledding, skiing, and having a snowball fight, all while learning about the habits of forest animals along the way. Each forest animal is celebrated for its unique features, and the children explain where they go during the winter, touching on the full animal kingdom circle of life. Bissonette helps readers understand ecosystems’ complex, seemingly invisible elements in an engrossing manner. 

My favorite aspects of When Winter Comes: Discovering Wildlife in Our Snowy Woods are the immersive landscape drawings and rich descriptions that transport the reader straight into a snowy and frozen forest. Readers from warmer locations like Arizona may not be familiar with the impact cold weather has on the environment and animals. Personally, despite growing up in the Midwest, I never considered how active winter ecosystems are, even when you can’t directly see many animals. However, When Winter Comes: Discovering Wildlife in Our Snowy Woods teaches readers about different animals’ hibernation patterns during winter and where they can be found. Bissonette interweaves the relatable narrative of a family enjoying common wintertime activities with the educational aspects of animal behavior during winter to keep readers entertained while they learn. Children will love the accompanying animal illustrations that display the animals in their natural ecosystems. A fun way to make the story even more engaging for children could be to have them try to locate and identify all of the wildlife pictured and select their favorite to learn more about. When Winter Comes: Discovering Wildlife in Our Snowy Woods is an immersive read that celebrates winter and the spectacular wildlife we get to share our snowy environment with. 

Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and Sasquatch Books for sending us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication. 

Emilee Ceuninck, Pine Reads Review Lead Writer & Editor