Do You Want to Meet Two Groundhogs?

Do You Want to Meet Two Groundhogs?

Have you ever met a groundhog who loves to splash in a cold river in springtime, roast in the summer sun, and tromp through the winter snow?

No? Then you haven’t met the first groundhog, Punxsutawney Phyllis.


Susanna Leonard Hill wrote this adorable book about one special groundhog for kids in kindergarten to grade three. I was amazed to learn that artist Jeffrey Ebbeler painted the illustrations on oak veneer panels. (Oak veneer panels can be applied to particle board and is used to make cabinet doors or bookcases.) Now that’s what I call creativity.

Personally, girls, I think you’ll love the book too. Here’s why:

“Phyllis, a brightly clad groundhog, loves to be outdoors in all types of weather. Her uncle is Punxsutawney Phil, and she dreams of one day taking over his job, even though everyone tells her that she can’t because she is a girl.”

And because we know girls can do ANYTHING, Phyllis is also a story about believing in yourself.

This weekend, Susanna Leonard Hill is running a contest with rules. Since I didn’t print off or color the picture of Phyllis, nor did I photograph her outside performing acrobats like hanging out of a hot-air balloon, I’m disqualified. Darn! I wanted to win a fabulous prize. That’s what I get for not following Susanna’s rules.

But I did do a little digging and uncovered some interesting facts you might want to pass along to your children or grandchildren after you’ve snuggled together and read Punxsutawney (punks-a-tawny) Phyllis. (I still can’t pronounce that Indian name.) Punxsutawney means “the town of the sandflies.” My skin itches all of a sudden.

Did You Know?

  • A groundhog’s fur is coarse, with grayish hairs tipped with brownish red ones.
  • A groundhog’s ears, tails, and legs are short. But, boy, are they quick!
  • A groundhog’s jaw is strong, so I wouldn’t go sticking my fingers in its mouth.
  • A groundhog munches on greens, fruits, and veggies. They don’t drink much water. They get their water mostly by chomping on dewy leaves.
  • A groundhog whistles in spring when they start dating courting, and they also whistle when they’re frightened. Hmm…how’s a girl supposed to know the difference?
  • A groundhog hibernates by going into a coma. Their heart rate drops, and their breathing becomes almost nonexistent. Send in the medics!
  • A groundhog lives six to eight years, except for Gerald. He’s the second groundhog, the one you haven’t met yet. Gerald will live forever in one of my published calendars.
Meet Gerald

Meet Gerald

A friend made a comment and said, “Gerald looks like a mouse!” You can stop laughing. I call it artistic license. So there! 🙂

Anyway, pop on over and visit Punxsutawney Phyllis. Then be sure to follow Susanna’s rules. If you win, you’ll have to share the prize with me. Just kidding…unless you want to share the prize with me of course! 🙂

Click on Susanna’s links below to download some super-cool activities:

Teacher Guide – Punxsutawney Phyllis

Punxsutawney Phyllis in the Classroom

Phyllis Library Activity

Phyllis Word Scramble

Phyllis Crissword Puzzle

The Groundhog Day Song

News Bulletin!

This past week, Susanna contacted me and asked to purchase another piece of art for her course–Making Picture Book Magic. Maybe she’s started a private collection after all! 🙂

Email Header Final Susanna Hill

The February and March sessions for Making Picture Book Magic is full! So if you want to secure a spot for April, you’d better hurry and sign up today! 🙂

Happy Groundhog Day!

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26 Responses

  1. Tracy,
    You have such lovely posts. They pop on my screen. I truly enjoy what you share. It’s always delightful. I know Susanna Leonard Hill is fortunate to have you promoting for her and her book. Keep sharing fun posts with us!

  2. Thanks for a wonderful post, Tracy! So kind of you to promote Phyllis, her story, her contest, and the writing course!!! You must be our Number One Fan! 🙂 Gerald is adorable! Phyllis wants to meet him 🙂 Loved all the groundhog facts too. Did you also know that groundhogs have 5 toes on their hind feet, but only 4 on their front feet? And that they can dig up to 750 pounds of dirt and rocks to make their burrows? And that they chew on sticks to keep their teeth from getting too long and sharp? Such interesting little creatures! 🙂
    Susanna Leonard Hill recently posted..IT’S GROUNDHOG DAY!!! – Early Spring Or Six More Weeks?My Profile

    • Hi Susanna,
      Now I didn’t know about all those other interesting facts, but now I do.
      I’m always happy to help you out. It’s what makes life fun.
      I’ll be over to check out your blog post very soon.
      Thanks, 🙂