Markle, Sandra. Snow School. Illustrated by Alan Marks. Unpaged. 2013. Charlesbridge. $16.95. Nonfiction.
With beautiful life-like illustrations, this narrative nonfiction tells the story of two snow leopard cubs born high in Pakistan's Hindu Kush Mountains. The story follows the cubs from one week old, when one almost becomes a meal for an eagle, to five weeks, to two months, to five months, and then into their second year of life. At each stage, the cubs learn life-saving skills from their mom about how to feed themselves and stay safe in their harsh environment.
The new Common Core calls for the use of lots of quality nonfiction books, and this one definitely qualifies. Almost every page could be used for a lesson on summary, main idea, or inference by hiding the final sentence that states the learned lesson until after students have had time to draw their own conclusions. The last page contains more information about snow leopards, additional resources, and an author's note.
EL - ADVISABLE. Reviewer: PKFoster, K-5 teacher-librarian