Title: Trapped by the Mountain Storm
Author: Aileen Fisher
Major Themes: Animals, Beavers, Bighorn Sheep, Conies, Deer, Martens, Mountain Lions, Rabbits, Rocky Mountains, Water Ouzel, Weasel, Winter
Synopsis: The animals on a mountain-side in the Rocky Mountains must use all their skills to survive a three-day blizzard.
I have always loved stories about animals, and the format used in Trapped by the Mountain Storm, as well as its companion book, All on a Mountain Day, is wonderful. A three-day blizzard is pouring snow down on the Rocky Mountains; how do the animals cope with their food being covered up, and with the cold? Each animal has its own chapter, telling of its experiences during the storm. As you progress through the book, you get farther and farther into the storm.
The Bighorns are first; the Old Ewe senses the storm coming and leads her flock to a safe place to wait it out. Next, you get to read about the Cony, safe in his holes under the rocks with the hay she made during the summer—but the Weasel, hungrily hunting through the storm, can get through the Cony’s tunnels. The Mountain Lion is also hungry, but the Water Ouzel has few worries. The Beaver must solve a problem or the entire colony will die; the Snowshoe Rabbit was injured a few days ago. The Marten is fiercely searching for food, too—but a competitor shows up in his range. Will the Mule Deer be able to escape the Coyotes in time? And then comes the Snow-eating Wind, and life suddenly changes again.
If your children love animal stories, this is a wonderful book. All the animals act like animals. No human-like thoughts or actions here. There is some violence, as happens in the animal world, but the hero of each story survives. This is a fascinating glimpse into the community of animals on the mountain side, and how they interact with each other and survive the storm.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, Family Friendly
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12