HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Groundhog Gets a Say
Author: Pamela Curtis Swallow
Illustrator: Denise Bunkus
Publisher: Puffin Books, republished 2007
ISBN-13: 978-0399238765 Hardcover
ISBN-10: 039923876X Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-0142408964 Paperback
ISBN-10: 0142408964 Paperback
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Age 4 or 5-8 and up
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Swallow, Pamela Curtis. Groundhog Gets a Say (published in 2005 by G. P. Putnum’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, a division of The Penguin Group USA Inc., 375 Hudson St., New York City, NY 10014). Does a groundhog come out and show himself only one day a year? Groundhog explains to a sarcastic squirrel, a snide crow, and a bespectacled, young groundhog reporter, everything about himself, from how loud he can whistle (loud), to how fast he can run (not fast), to how many things he uses his teeth for (a lot). Did you know that these clever builders of burrows can move about seven hundred pounds of dirt and rocks in one day? But can they climb trees or swim in the water? And why are they studied by scientists?
Author Pamela Curtis Swallow’s text is humorous and well complimented by illustrator Denise Brunkus’s nicely done watercolor-and-colored-pencil drawings. Groundhog Gets a Say is not only a funny, entertaining story for young children but also a fact-filled, educational introduction to this common animal. Along the way, kids will learn, among other things, that “woodchuck” is another name for groundhog. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Did you know that groundhogs are related to squirrels? And do you know what they do during the winter?