Book: Margot Gets an Unexpected Visit
Author: Lieve Snellings
Publisher: Self-Published, 2016
Blog: Melissa-Sue John, Ph.D.
Margot the groundhog is a very personable character who is able to speak to humans, write letters, decorate her home, and do many incredible things. Margot, who narrates the story, tells a wonderful tale of becoming friends with two human sisters, Lowieske (pronounced Loo-wees-ka) and Marie. It is fully illustrated using real photographs.
While reading I found myself starting to read in a foreign accent. I don’t know if it was the author’s use of certain words or terms, such as “on holiday” instead of “on vacation”, the outfits of the little girls, the names of the girls, or the mentioning of Chateau-Richer located in Quebec, which I later discovered.
This book not only tells the delightful narrative of an unlikely friendship, but children reading this picture book will learn about groundhogs and its distant relatives. I discovered that ground hogs are marmots and solitary animals, who love eating and sunbathing, also called woodchucks and are distant relatives to squirrels.
I learned so much about rodents than I had ever anticipated. I recommend this book for 8-year-olds and older due to the length and breadth of this story. What I enjoyed most was the use of natural photography instead of cartoons or animated illustrations, which were beautifully captured by the author, Lieve Snellings. She is very talented in her ability to tell stories and use different graphics. The book is also filled with many life lessons. Children’s vocabulary will also increase as they learn the meaning of the words: inquisitive, creek, species, glance, and settlers. They will also be exposed to some geography as they learn about Canada, United States, and Belgium, and learn about other cultures: the French and the Swiss. The story also goes into discussion of what the author believes constitutes a family. Thanks for sharing your book with me Lieve.
To learn more about Lieve and her books: Margot gets an unexpected visit and Groundhog Secrets: Everything you always wanted to know about woodchucks, visit her Facebook page: Foto boek Lieve Snellings.
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