Guest Post: Michelle Meadows on Hibernation Station

By Michelle Meadows

Fuzzy slippers, warm pajamas,
Forest babies and their mamas…
show up early at the station!
Time for winter hibernation.

In the winter, I want to wear cozy pajamas. I want to curl up in a blanket with pillows, snacks, and books. I want to nap and read and nap and have a snack and nap and have another snack and then nap some more.

In the winter, I feel like: Wake me up when it’s Spring! Ever since I was a little girl, I have thought how nice it might be to hibernate in the winter. And this is exactly what I was thinking when I wrote Hibernation Station, illustrated by Kurt Cyrus (Simon & Schuster, 2010).

I wrote the story during a snowy time. One of my goals for the book was to create a fun way to introduce young readers to a variety of hibernating animals. I also set out to create a bedtime story that shows the animals facing the same kind of challenges that kids face when it’s time to settle down—like how the frog feels scared and the chipmunks need more snacks and pillows.

The aspect of hibernation that I find most interesting is the fact that some animals are known as light sleepers and some of them are known as deep sleepers.

So I created an Author’s Note to focus on that point. I hope it will be a good jumping off point for teachers and parents who want to teach kids about hibernation.

Kurt Cyrus created illustrations that go way beyond my wildest dreams. To create the drawings, Kurt thought about what sort of train forest animals would ride. For inspiration, he went back to one of the earliest steam locomotives built in 1829, The Rocket. From the log train to the animal noses, he created details that give the story a whole new dimension.

My hope is that Hibernation Station is a book that parents and kids can snuggle up with. They can ride along as the train clacks along the tracks. I want them to feel part of a special journey.

The final destination? Sleep!