Berkes continues her “Over in the Meadow”–based series of early science books with this look at animals that live in the mountains.
This diverse habitat can be found on every continent, and Berkes does a nice job of including at least one mountain range from each and identifying and mapping it on details that accompany the illustrations as well as on a large world map in the backmatter. Most of the verses scan well, whether read or sung, though readers may stumble on the gorilla verse: “Over on a mountain / Where leaves and berries thrive, / Lived a shy mother gorilla / And her little babies five.” The animals range from the familiar—emperor penguins and pandas—to those that may be new to young readers—Alpine ibex and wombats. Llamas, snow leopards, eagles, mountain lions and yaks complete the menagerie. As with most in this series, the artwork stands out for its beauty and craftsmanship. Dubin’s textured cut and torn-paper illustrations evoke both animals and habitats—fur looks soft, rocks look hard, and one can almost smell the greenery, though the scenes are less realistic than cute. And the backmatter adds significantly to the learning experience with paragraphs about mountain habitats, the featured animals and the bonus hidden animals. Author’s and illustrator’s notes give hints on how to extend the fun and learning and tell how the art was created.
What habitat is left for Berkes to explore? Readers and teachers will hope at least one.
— Kirkus Reviews (December 2014)
Wombats, gorillas, and penguins, oh my! This guide to mountain animals from all over the world introduces creatures not necessarily well known to the average reader, using a catchy meter and rhyme to teach about their habits and habitats. Giving the name of each baby animal and labeling their home mountain range on a world map, this book offers a multitude of educational venues. Ages four and up.
— Forward Reviews – Stacy Price (January 22, 2015)
As she has done in Over in a River, Over in the Ocean, and other titles, Berkes adapts the song “Over in the Meadow,” for an animal-centric counting book, this time introducing 20 animals that live in mountainous regions throughout of the world. Ten—including panda, ibex, and wombat families—are the focus of her stanzas, while 10 more are hidden in the images for readers to locate. . . . Dubin’s richly textured torn-paper collages provide ample visual interest, and substantial appended resources about the animals and their habitats’ offer additional avenues for children to engage.
— Publishers Weekly (March 2, 2015)
Marianne Berkes continues her great series with this book that introduces 20 different animals that live on ten different mountain ranges on seven different continents of the world. This book will make teaching geography fun and easily fulfills the core curriculum standards for elementary literacy skills, math, and geography. It will be a wonderful addition to your school, classroom or home library.
Readers can count the animal babies, and read the numeral on the page, or vice versa. Likewise, they will enjoy the natural rhymes of the story and sing a song they already know with different words. Besides all that, they can identify the continents and animals that live on each. The cut paper illustrations are realistic enough to jump right into. Readers of all ages will be tempted to make their own cut paper illustrations.
This is a book that just keeps on giving. The end pages have tips from the author as well as tips from the illustrator so readers can try out the techniques on their own. That is on top of all the added detailed information about the animals included in the book. A particularly helpful section in the end pages deals with what parts of the book are facts and which fiction. These are decisions always difficult for young readers to distinguish on their own.
Facts about mountains and suggestions about how to compare and contrast are added benefits as well as suggestions for further reading. While the youngest readers might not grasp everything in the end pages, older students will soak up everything this book has to offer.
— Grade Reading – Sue Poduska (Feb. 4, 2015)
There are a mountain of reasons to love Marianne Berkes’ Over on a Mountain: Somewhere in the World, which features mountain ranges from around the globe, depicted in amazing collages by Pratt Institute grad Jill Dubin. Berkes’s rhyming text, which can also be sung to the tune of the traditional song “Over in the Meadow” (easily found on Google for those of us who can’t read music), incorporates counting to 10 and a rich vocabulary.
Recommended for kids ages 3–8, the book offers a fun challenge for older readers: finding the creature hidden in each illustration, a great way to introduce the concept of camouflage.
— NY Parenting Magazine – Lisa DiMiceli (March 2015)
Over on a Mountain: Somewhere in the World is a fantastic counting sampler world survey of 20 different animals in a beloved, familiar, versed song form. Here are amazing wombats from Australia, mountain gorillas from Africa, Pandas from Asia, llamas from South America, snow leopards from the Himalaya Mountains, eagles and mountain lions from Alaska in North America, yaks from Asia, and emperor penguins from Antarctica, and more. Each continent is represented and a color cued global map summarizes the counted animals’ locations, but there are even more animal surprises to find and count. In the creative colored collage/multi media illustrations, there is one hidden mountain animal species on each continent. Additional information about the “hidden” mountain animals is found at the handy illustrated key at the end, following the section on Fact or Fiction and Mountain Facts. To further encourage the natural interest of young readers ages 3-8, there is more information about the other animals in the story, plus tips from the author and illustrator to do more mountain animal nature study. Over on a Mountain: Somewhere in the World is a fabulous example of STEM storytime experiences with young children.
— Midwest Book Review – James Cox (April 2015)
About the book: Discover twenty cool animals, ten great mountain ranges, and seven continents all in one story! And do it in the age-old style of children the world over—by clapping, counting, singing, and acting like . . . well, animals! What fun!
My thoughts: This is also a rhyming and counting book. Each page features a grown and a baby animal that lives in the mountains, such as a snow leopard and her cubs or an eagle and her eaglets. Simple maps show the animals’ homes in the world, and there’s even a hidden surprise animal on each page that kids can look for! More animal facts and learning activities are in the back, along with the words and music for the song, “Over on a Mountain.” Kids will discover something new in this book every time they read it!
— Susan Heim on Parenting – Susan Heim, Editor of Chicken Soup for the Soul (March 2015)
In Over on a Mountain: Somewhere in the World , Marianne Berkes continues with her “Over in the…” series (I shared about Over in the Forest and Over in the River previously, here and here). With lively cut paper illustrations by Jill Dubin, Over on a Mountain serves as an introduction to mountain ranges across the globe and the animals that call them home (mostly mammals). Ten ranges are covered, each page showing the range’s place on its continent. Following the classic rhythm “Over in the Meadow,” kids will eat with pandas in the Minshan Mtns. of China, sleep with wombats in the Blue Mtns. of Australia, and pounce with mountain lions in the Rocky Mtns. of North America. They will learn what to call the young of the ten animals throughout the book, and as the eat, sleep, and pounce above indicates, some kind of animal behavior. And as expected with books from Dawn Publications, there is more detailed information about the animals and mountain ranges at the end of the book for parents and educators to use for learning opportunities.
— Exploring Portland’s Natural Areas – Michael Barton (March 22, 2015)
Over on a Mountain: Somewhere in the World by Marianne Berkes and illustrated by Jill Dubin is a fun counting book. Discover twenty cool animals, ten great mountain ranges, and seven continents all in one story! And do it in the age-old style of children the world over — by clapping, counting, singing, and acting like . . . well, animals! What fun! Following the main story, this book is chock full of resources for parents and teachers, including facts about each of the animals featured (including the hidden animals) and about mountains. A simple world map makes it easy for children to locate the continents and the mountain ranges where the animals live. A “Tips from the Author” page has suggested activities and a “Tips from the Illustrator” page offers an interesting perspective from the artist, who created the illustrations using cut paper.
— Your World Natural BlogSpot – Cara Nitz (Feb. 17, 2015)
Marianne Berkes’ Over on a Mountain: Somewhere in the World (with illustrations by Jill Dubin) introduces kids to twenty cool animals, ten great mountain ranges and seven continents, teaching them valuable counting, clapping, singing and acting skills along the way.
— Emagazine (March 2, 2015)
If this is the first time you’re hearing about Marianne Berkes’ Over on a... book series, do yourself (and the child in your life) a favor and check all of them out on Dawn Publications’ website. (After you finish reading this, of course. 😉 ) I previously had the opportunity to review two other books in the series and they are two of my favorite that I have reviewed from Dawn Pub thus far. Even though she is not in the age range the books are targeted for (3-8 year olds), Myka still enjoys getting these out and looking at them at 2 years old.
Over on a Mountain is all about critters that live in different mountain regions around the world. Not only will children learn a little more about animals they’re already familiar with and be introduced to new ones as well, but they will learn that not all mountains are the same! As always, there are more suggestions at the end for ways to expand upon learning from the story, with activities that can range from preschool/lower elementary levels to higher elementary grades.
In case you couldn’t guess, I was really excited when I saw there was a new Over on a… book. The first thing that caught my attention, as with the first two I reviewed as well, were the illustrations. While the illustrator for this book is different from the previous two that I reviewed, the pictures in this book are not what you would normally see in a children’s book, but they are extremely unique and beautiful the more you look at them. Jill Dubin uses pieces of paper (I’m guessing a lot of scrapbook type paper with lots of different “textures” was used) with colored pencils and pastels to bring the story to life. You can get a good idea of it just from the cover image above. How cool!
I also love these stories because they incorporate counting, so they are perfect books to incorporate into a numbers lesson for younger children just starting out with learning numbers. Animals and books make just about anything fun, right? Also, since this book can be read/sung to the traditional Over in a Meadow nursery rhyme, it could be a fun way to introduce poetry and/or what rhymes are to children. Plus, as I’ve stated what feels like 500 times, I truly believe that rhyming helps young children learn and retain information better.
— Mixed Bag Mama (January 26, 2015)
This book captures the wonderful diversity of the world’s mountains with illustrations that make you want to touch the animals and the landscape. A great interactive book for young kids with enough accurate background information to be educational for the adults.
— William McShea, Ecologist and Giant Panda Expert (August 2014)
Over On a Mountain: Somewhere in the World is a great introduction for young ones to both wildlife and geography, all while learning how to count. The beautiful art will draw in readers of all ages.
— David Mizejewski, Naturalist, National Wildlife Federation (August 2014)
Marianne Berkes has done it again! In fact, Over on a Mountain is my favorite of all the wonderful counting books she has produced. Animals from mountain ranges on all the seven continents are included, and as usual, we have the hidden animals in each picture to try to spy. Extensive information about each animal, facts about mountains and activities to extend the learning are included in the back. Once again, Jill Durbin’s papercut illustrations enhance the story like “salt on meat.” The maps showing the location of the mountain ranges are fabulous! A must purchase for every school and public library.I highly recommend it for home collections as well. Best suited for ages 3 – 8, but suitable, too, for adults who want to hone their Jeopardy! skills.
— Judy Houser, Lower School Librarian, Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy (February 2015)
The beautiful artwork and excellent rhyming text would be enough to recommend this title. But it’s the clever inclusion of counting, animals, and habitats that makes it a perfect pick for STEM storytimes with young children.
— Amy Koester, the Show Me Librarian (August 2014)
Of course, great! Over on the Mountain meets the high levels that the previous Over in the ….series. I learned about animals that I have always heard of but never really thought about where it lived (wombat!). A really great touch is the sequence of maps on each page. The mountain range is labeled and its location identified on each map which is a simple outline of the appropriate continent. I really love how the illustrator made all the mountains look different. The illustrations are super. Marianne, as you may know, stocks the back of her book with loads of relevant information and facts, this one is no different. It could be used as a reference book!
Thanks for another beautiful and useful book to add to my collection. I will be using it with many grade levels to teach a myriad of lessons.
— June Parrilli – Teacher (Feb. 23, 2015)
Gotta love a book that covers all learners in a house/classroom ages 3-7! The three year old loves the pattern of the book, the counting and the pictures (especially the hidden animal on each page). The 7 year old loves all that plus the geography, explanatory maps and the factual information page at the end that adds to his understanding. You know it’s great when I, as an adult, learn a lot but yet still it is a hit with preschoolers. My three year old walks around singing the words over and over. Great purchase.
— Erin Schade (Feb. 23, 2015)