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Over on a Mountain, Somewhere in the World

Discover twenty different animals, ten mountain ranges and seven continents all in one story! Following the main story, this book is chock full of resources for parents and teachers, including facts about each of the animals and the mountains they inhabit.
A simple world map makes it easy for children to locate the continents and the mountain ranges where the animals live.


Berkes continues her “Over in the Meadow”–based series of early science books with this look at animals that live in the mountains.
This diverse habitat can be found on every continent, and Berkes does a nice job of including at least one mountain range from each and identifying and mapping it on details that accompany the illustrations as well as on a large world map in the backmatter. Most of the verses scan well, whether read or sung, though readers may stumble on the gorilla verse: “Over on a mountain / Where leaves and berries thrive, / Lived a shy mother gorilla / And her little babies five.” The animals range from the familiar—emperor penguins and pandas—to those that may be new to young readers—Alpine ibex and wombats. Llamas, snow leopards, eagles, mountain lions and yaks complete the menagerie. As with most in this series, the artwork stands out for its beauty and craftsmanship. Dubin’s textured cut and torn-paper illustrations evoke both animals and habitats—fur looks soft, rocks look hard, and one can almost smell the greenery, though the scenes are less realistic than cute. And the backmatter adds significantly to the learning experience with paragraphs about mountain habitats, the featured animals and the bonus hidden animals. Author’s and illustrator’s notes give hints on how to extend the fun and learning and tell how the art was created.

What habitat is left for Berkes to explore? Readers and teachers will hope at least one.”

— Kirkus Reviews (December 2014)

“This book captures the wonderful diversity of the world’s mountains with illustrations that make you want to touch the animals and the landscape. A great interactive book for young kids with enough accurate background information to be educational for the adults.”

— William McShea, Ecologist and Giant Panda Expert

“Over On a Mountain: Somewhere in the World is a great introduction for young ones to both wildlife and geography, all while learning how to count. The beautiful art will draw in readers of all ages.”

— David Mizejewski, Naturalist, National Wildlife Federation

Wombats, gorillas, and penguins, oh my! This guide to mountain animals from all over the world introduces creatures not necessarily well known to the average reader, using a catchy meter and rhyme to teach about their habits and habitats. Giving the name of each baby animal and labeling their home mountain range on a world map, this book offers a multitude of educational venues. Ages four and up.

— Forward Reviews – Stacy Price (January 22, 2015)

As she has done in Over in a River, Over in the Ocean, and other titles, Berkes adapts the song “Over in the Meadow,” for an animal-centric counting book, this time introducing 20 animals that live in mountainous regions throughout of the world. Ten—including panda, ibex, and wombat families—are the focus of her stanzas, while 10 more are hidden in the images for readers to locate. While Berkes’s phrasings can be convoluted (“Over on a mountain/ With his mate, a female ‘hen,’/ Lived a father emperor penguin/ And his little chicks ten”), those familiar with the song shouldn’t have trouble following along. Dubin’s richly textured torn-paper collages provide ample visual interest, and substantial appended resources about the animals and their habitats’ offer additional avenues for children to engage.

— Publishers Weekly (March 2, 2015)

Marianne Berkes continues her great series with this book that introduces 20 different animals that live on ten different mountain ranges on seven different continents of the world. This book will make teaching geography fun and easily fulfills the core curriculum standards for elementary literacy skills, math, and geography. It will be a wonderful addition to your school, classroom or home library.

Readers can count the animal babies, and read the numeral on the page, or vice versa. Likewise, they will enjoy the natural rhymes of the story and sing a song they already know with different words. Besides all that, they can identify the continents and animals that live on each. The cut paper illustrations are realistic enough to jump right into. Readers of all ages will be tempted to make their own cut paper illustrations.

This is a book that just keeps on giving. The end pages have tips from the author as well as tips from the illustrator so readers can try out the techniques on their own. That is on top of all the added detailed information about the animals included in the book. A particularly helpful section in the end pages deals with what parts of the book are facts and which fiction. These are decisions always difficult for young readers to distinguish on their own.

Facts about mountains and suggestions about how to compare and contrast are added benefits as well as suggestions for further reading. While the youngest readers might not grasp everything in the end pages, older students will soak up everything this book has to offer.

— Grade Reading – Sue Poduska (Feb. 4, 2015)

There are a mountain of reasons to love Marianne Berkes’ Over on a Mountain: Somewhere in the World, which features mountain ranges from around the globe, depicted in amazing collages by Pratt Institute grad Jill Dubin. Berkes’s rhyming text, which can also be sung to the tune of the traditional song “Over in the Meadow” (easily found on Google for those of us who can’t read music), incorporates counting to 10 and a rich vocabulary.

Recommended for kids ages 3–8, the book offers a fun challenge for older readers: finding the creature hidden in each illustration, a great way to introduce the concept of camouflage.

— NY Parenting Magazine – Lisa DiMiceli (March 2015)