Blogger Jennifer Schultz

Hibernation Story Time

Seasonal story times are part and parcel for story times. Halloween story times have come and gone, along with many fall story times, and it’s too soon for winter story times. How about a hibernation/migration story time in between your fall-themed story times and your winter-themed story times?



Time to Sleep (author: Denise Fleming)

Bear smells winter in the air. When she informs snail that it’s time to sleep (hibernate), she sets off a chain reaction of animals informing each other that it will soon be time to hibernate.  Unfortunately, no one told Ladybug that there was no need to inform Bear, who was already happily hibernating when Ladybug “broke” the news. Told through Denise Fleming’s brilliantly hued illustrations and text that perfectly lends itself to a read aloud, this is an ideal selection for a toddler story time.




Sleepy Bears (author: Mem Fox)

If you need an enchanting read aloud for your listeners able to listen to a longer picture book, Mem Fox’s Sleepy Bears should be on your list.  Mother Bear’s six children are not at all interested in getting ready for hibernation.  This very patient mama bear soothes them with personalized (rhymed) stories; mysteriously, each child falls sleep sporting something pertaining to his/her individual rhyme.  No forced rhymes here; this is a sweet and calming story, perfect for an evening story time.




Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit (author: Il Sung Na)

Il Sung Na’s picture books are story time treasures; this one is no exception.  While bears naturally are the focus of many hibernation-themed picture books, Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit includes a variety of animals preparing for the winter.  Rabbit observes the animals gearing up for the long winter; a squirrel gathering acorns, birds flying south, and even alligators staying very still in the swamp.  With a springtime ending, this story works well year-round.


Do you have any favorites that you would include in a hibernation-themed story time? Please share in the comments!




  1. Jennifer

    We do a LOT of hibernation storytimes…some favorites include Jim Arnosky’s Every autumn comes the bear, Alice Schertle’s Very Hairy Bear, Elisha Cooper’s Bear dreams, Kevin Henkes’ Old Bear, Jackie Urbanovic’s Duck at the door, Scamell’s Ouch (makes a great flannelboard), Horowitz’ Duck Duck Moose, Raye’s The Very best bed and there’s always more…just search for “bear” in your picture book section!

  2. Lisa Jenn Bigelow

    I do storytime with 3-year-olds, and I like to read Too Tight, Benito!, by Janeen Brian and Judith Rossell, Bear Dreams, by Elisha Cooper, and Bear Snores On, by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. All bears, which is a bit of a snooze (no pun intended), but they hit the mark. A good nonfiction choice for slightly older children is Animals in Winter, by Henrietta Bancroft and Richard G. Van Gelder.

  3. Mary Voors

    Good suggestions! I’d add Winter Lullaby by Barbara Seuling and A Little Bit of Winter by Paul Stewart.

  4. Lisa

    Every Autumn Comes the Bear by Jim Arnosky – one of my favorites.

  5. Marge Loch-Wouters

    Sleepy Bear by Lydia Dabcovich is a great classic title that really works in story time. That ursine has personality!

  6. Janet Thompson

    I found some wonderful hibernation-themed ideas @ and Used the parachute idea from the second website which was really fun and reinforced the idea of the storytime. As a big fan of Karma Wilson, I had to use “Bear Snores On,” also used “Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep!” by Maureen Wright, “When it Starts to Snow” by Phillis Gershator, and even Jan Brett’s “The Mitten.” Lots of Beanie Babies volunteered for this storytime.

  7. Lisa Jenn Bigelow

    I hadn’t seen Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit before reading this post. What a beautiful book! I think I’ll be trying it out this year.

  8. Jennifer Schultz

    Wow-wonderful comments! Thank you for taking the time to respond. Lisa Jenn, I’m so happy that you enjoyed Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit. It is a lovely book.

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