A Day on the Mountain

Midwest Book Review - September 2010

"A Day on the Mountain" is a followup book to the author's award-winning first book, "A Day in the Salt Marsh." A verse narrative describes a trip from bottom forest land to a snow-covered top of a mountain. During this climb, different animals and habitat are observed. Beautiful illustrations of black bears, bighorn sheep, yellow bellied marmot, great gray owl, garter snake, salamander, mountain goats, and more creatures are displayed. Along with this handy visual and verbal guide, there are suggested learning activities in For Creative Minds, such as match the animals, mountain to Arctic Pole map comparisons and more. There are also free online resources and support for the book. "A Day on the Mountain" is a great nature activities and environmental studies resource for students in grades K-4.
- James A. Cox

NSTA Recommends - September 2010

Let’s set off and climb to the top of a mountain! Do you want to see bear cubs at play, with their mother ready to protect them? Did you know that the Great Gray Owl coughs up “scat,” which contains the leftover hair and bones of its prey? If you carefully watch a garter snake, you can learn about its molting. By “hiking” upwards from the lower forest level, readers of this book encounter a busy nutcracker and will wonder what it's doing. By quietly observing various animals and plants in this book, readers will see their distinct habitats along the way.

As readers observe bighorn sheep, a mountain lion in the distance, hummingbirds close by the path, yellow-bellied marmots, shiny salamanders, and the far-away mountain goats, they will learn that each animal group has its own habitat with a distinct elevation and preferred climate. At the summit, multi-colored lichen and snow fleas appear at the tree line area.

This story is told in rhyme, which makes it fun to read aloud. A reference section at the end gives more details about mountain ecosystems. There are maps and a quick quiz on what one finds above and below the tree line. The two-page extension called "Match the Animals" gives pictures and clues to match; it can be used as an assessment of what was learned by reading this book, and carefully illustrated pictures lead readers higher up the mountain. "For Creative Minds" is a free online extension area for teachers to use with their students, in English and Spanish. Other online resources that link with this book (from are interdisciplinary teaching activities, interactive quizzes, related websites, and alignments to state standards from a searchable database.
- Suzanne Flynn

Book Loons - December 2011

At five-thousand feet above sea level and higher, the author guides readers through habitats, revealing grazing Rams, hovering Hummingbirds, Bighorn Sheep, Snow Fleas, and the development of a colorful 'carpet of living lichens ... The lichens create the soil ... that each living thing on the mountain depends on every day.

Erin Hunter's sketches and paintings of the featured animals and their habitats capture their essence, from the large Black Bear to the tiny Snow Flea, and from the vastness of a mountain range to the small berries and lines within the leaves of the bush.

For the Love of Books - March 2011

Your child will love the habitat and climate changes as they go.  (Ssshhhh don't tell them they may even learn about different animals and plants!)  The illustrations are just as lovely as the the animals and plants that they meet on their way higher up the mountain.

Wild About Nature - October 2010

Come spend A Day on the Mountain where readers are introduced to a variety of animals that inhabit the different layers of the mountain. We see big horn sheep, salamanders, snow fleas and many other interesting creatures. Kurtz shares fun facts about each of these animals with his lyrical rhyming text. My favorite stanzas are:

Keep hiking up the mountain,
and it may be hard to see,
but a single Great Grey Owl
perches in a tree.

It looks like it is coughing-
a pellet drops from its beak.
It's the leftover hair and bones
of a vole it ate this week.

Back matter includes more facts about mountain ecosystems and an animal matching activity. As with all Sylvan titles, you can find even more activities on their website.

This book is a companion to A Day in the Salt Marsh by Kevin Kurtz. Both titles would be excellent additions to any study on ecosystems.

This post is part of the Nonfiction Monday Round-Up hosted this week by Madigan Reads blog.
- Kim Hutmacher

The Chronicle of the Earth-August 2010

I always love release time at Arbordale Publishing! Five new great books came out for fall 2010. I passed these around to several local homeschooling families and got some great feedback from all the mothers who previewed them.

A Day on the Mountain is the only story out of the fall's five that was done in poetry and bravo to Kevin Kurtz for pulling it off so gracefully! My tongue didn't stumble once as I read this aloud to my crew. Kevin is a new author to Sylan Dell and I hope he'll be back. The story teaches about the animals you find in a mountainous habitat and how the animals you find changes as you go higher above sea level. Erin Huter (also new to Arbordale) rocked these illustrations (my favorite illustrations out of these releases) and was very clever with her "zooming in" boxes to see up-close details on the animals.

Katie's Literature Lounge

A day spent visiting the mountain proves to be a very educational experience! Children will learn all about the flora and fauna at different points as they "hike" alongside author, Kevin Kurtz on this adventure. From black bears to to snow fleas, trees to lichens, there is a great deal to be learned in an interesting, unique way!

I think children will love this book! The illustrations are gorgeous and almost truly-captivating of the sights you would actually see on a hike up the mountain. The text itself is simple, yet intriguing and offers much room for children to become engaged and show their inquisitive nature, perhaps wondering what "above sea level" means or wanting to learn more about those snow fleas! Definitely a great science read!

Learning/Reading Activity: Check out the 33-page teaching activity packet, provided courtesy of Arbordale Publishing. It is packed with different activities that coincide with the story. My personal favorite can be found on page 21, Mountain True/False. Have children make predictions about each statement - is it true or false? Give children the answers, and then have them research and then write any false sentences to make them true!
- Katie Harvey

Reading to Know - August 2010

Arbordale Publishing just released their new Fall 2010 titles and I was excited to see them!

A Day on the Mountain is written by Kevin Kurtz who also wrote A Day in the Salt Marsh. If you liked Salt Marsh, the chances of you enjoying A Day on the Mountain is likely a sure bet.

In this new title we take a trip up the mountain, learning about the various animals that live at various levels above the sea. We meet black bears, garter snakes, the yellow-bellied marmot, mountain goats and more! Illustrated by Erin E. Hunter, this book is simply beautiful and, well, it really makes you want to go on a hike up a mountain! The back of the book includes an animal matching game which, of course, provides more information about each creature.

These books certainly testify to the quality of books that Arbordale publishes to open up the world of animals to children. I'm going to keep harping on them, but if you haven't yet checked out their website, you really must! There are plenty of activities available for download and use by parents and teachers on their website. They are a cracker jack publishing company and I hope you'll check them out.
- Carrie Brownwell

In the Pages - August 2010

Another box I never tire of is Arbordale's latest releases. I LOVE their focus on Science and Math and the supporting materials they offer. Their website is just loaded with great resources for teachers and parents - really, they are NOT to be missed!

A Day on the Mountain by Kevin Kurtz. GREAT read on the habitat of the mountain. You meet animals but also explore the plants that one can find on this interesting location. Erin Hunter's illustrations are beautiful and lend authenticity to this title. (Ages 4-9)
- Becky Bilby

Amazon Review - July 2010

What a nice nature study book for the younger set this one is! Kevin Kurtz has taken us to the mountains in this recently publication from Arbordale Publishing and given his readers quite an informative treat.

The text of this interesting little book is written in mild verse form. Consider the mountain goats:

One thousand more feet above sea level,
the mountain is getting steep!
Yet mountain goats are up there.
Higher and higher they leap.

On some mountains these goats are natives.
On others, they don't belong,
brought there by people,
before we knew it was wrong.

The author visits a mountain and gives us a very nice overview of the wildlife that can be found in this environment. Black bears, garter snakes, bighorn sheep, yellow bellied marmot, salamanders, great gray owls, Clark's nutcracker, hummingbirds, mountain goats and snow fleas. Big critters and small, the author gives a very nice overview.

The story of these animals is enhanced by some very nice art work by Erin E. Hunter. Each animal is presented in its habitat and we get some idea of that animal's life style. Each creature is presented on a double page format. Anatomy of each animal is quite accurate and the background is quite representative of their habitat.

The book concludes with a very nicely written and presented study guide for parents and teachers. Mountain ecocystems are presented here and a very nice little match the animal with the facts quiz is offered.

This is a great little book for the classroom or individual child's library. It would be a great gift to give to a child who is about to visit the mountains for the first time. Home Schoolers will find this one quite useful. All in all, it would be quite difficult to find something not to like about this work.
- Don Blankenship, The Ozarks