Project Description

Teacher’s Guide
Readers Theater

Beneath the Sun

by Melissa Stewart
illustrated by Constance R. Bergum

This lyrical tour of a variety of habitats offers young readers vivid glimpses of animals as they live out the hot season under the blazing sun.

When the sun is shining brightly, people put on sunscreen or scurry inside to cool off. But how do wild animals react to the sizzling heat?

Journey from your neighborhood to a field where an earthworm loops its long body into a ball underground, to a desert where a jackrabbit loses heat through its oversized ears, to a wetland where a siren salamander burrows into the mud to stay cool, and to a seashore where a sea star hides in the shade of a seaweed mat. Award-winning science writer Melissa Stewart shows readers how animals survive the hottest time of the year.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-733-5
Publication Date: 4/1/2014
Page Count: 32
Size: 9-1/2″ x 11-1/4″
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Price: $7.99
ISBN: 978-1-68263-159-1
Publication Date: 4/1/2020
Page Count: 32
Size: 9″ x 10-1/2″
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-68263-259-8
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble

AR Level: 3.7
F&P: M, Gr 2, Genre I
Lexile: AD940L
Themes: Animal Behavior, Habitats, Weather
BISAC 1: JNF051100 / JUVENILE NONFICTION / Science & Nature / Environmental Science & Ecosystems
BISAC 2: JNF003000 / JUVENILE NONFICTION / Animals / General
BISAC 3: JNF037080 / JUVENILE NONFICTION / Science & Nature / Earth Sciences / Weather


“An engaging peek into how various creatures cope with the hottest of days… A well-designed, well-written book that offers readers a greater awareness of and sense of relationship to the other inhabitants in their environments.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“The short text tells just enough about each animal to make its story interesting, while the handsome watercolor paintings illustrate each species and its habitat effectively. A quiet, informative read-aloud choice for the dog days of summer.” ―Booklist

“Detailed watercolors on triptych, diptych, and full double-page spreads evocatively illustrate the creatures’ fascinating phenomena.” ―The Horn Book Guide


Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12 ―National Science Teachers Association, Children’s Book Council, 2015

CCBC Choices (Science, Technology, and the Natural World) ―Cooperative Children’s Book Center, 2015

Charlotte Zolotow Award (Highly Commended) ―Cooperative Children’s Book Center, 2015

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Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Primary) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2015

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award ―Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, 2014

Bill Martin, Jr. Picture Book Award (Nominee) ―Kansas Reading Association, 2017

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Meet the Author

Melissa Stewart earned degrees from Union College and New York University and worked as an editor. She is the author of more than sixty books and lives in Massachusetts. You can visit her website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Constance R. Bergum has illustrated several children’s books. She holds an MFA in illustration from Marywood University and lives in Montana.