Literature Obscura Review: Groundhog Secrets

Groundhog Secrets by Lieve Snellings (Childrens, non-fiction, natural history)

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Overview and Synopsis

It’s no secret I have a soft spot for animals. I was hoping Groundhog Secrets would clue me in to the hidden life of an animal I’d encountered on in Canada but didn’t know much about. Well, now I know a bit more!

Readers are introduced to Margot, a chatty and charming groundhog who is very happy to share the hidden lives of her family (and rodent friends). We learn all sorts of things from the unique fur woodchucks wear to their toilet arrangements (did you know they dig lavatory burrows?).

Narrative and style:

Snellings doesn’t shy away from including complicated, scientifically correct terminology but I think that’s a good thing. Children tend to read up and while younger readers will enjoy the lovely, characterful photographs, older readers might enjoy getting their teeth into the details. Some of the language is a bit stilted and could be smoothed out, especially at the start, but that’s not a big issue.

Speaking of photographs, these are great. Sharp focus, appropriate to each page and well composed, they really add to the book. Snellings adds a touch of whimsy here and there with photoshopped hats and letters but that doesn’t detract from the overall professional feel.

World-building:

The photos offer a window into the natural world.

Plot:

This is a picture driven factual book so there isn’t much in the way of a plot but all the information is logically ordered and flows well. I liked the little snippet of folklore at the end, too.

Overall:

Great for any child who is interested in natural history or furry beasties – and for those who aren’t but need some info for a school project!

Rating: 16/20. 

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