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Lieve Snellings is a retired freelance photographer who lives in Leuven (Belgium).
Her series of children's books 'Margot the Groundhog and Her North-American Squirrel Family' count now 3 books, available in Dutch, English, and French.
Nominee TopShelf Book Award 2020
IAN (The Independent Author Network) Book of the Year Award 2018: https://www.independentauthornetwork.com/2018-book-of-the-year-winners.html
Reader’s Favorite Book Award 2018: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/groundhog-secrets
Readers Review Room Author of the month of October 2017
BookGoSocial Top Voted Children's Author 2017
Her images illustrated many books, magazines and were published online. Her photos were shown in exhibitions all over the world.
Since 2008, after meeting up with her partner who lives in Quebec, you can find her for about 4 to 5 months a year in Canada. There she became a passionate nature photographer. She spent hours, weeks... observing wildlife and searched every info she could find. This and her imagination made her publish two children's books in which photos are as important as words. The books are written in her mother tongue Dutch and translated in English and French.
Her stories take the traditional picture book experience and transform it by replacing illustrations by her own nature photography. The books are written in her mother tongue Dutch and translated in English and French.
Reviewed by Samantha Coville for Readers' Favorite
Take your children and your whole family on an adventure with Margot the groundhog in Groundhog Secrets: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Woodchucks by Lieve Snellings. Margot will use her witty humor and her extended family members to teach you all about the size, life cycle, hibernation, speed, eating habits, and more of groundhogs. There's enough fun facts in here to last multiple readings and there's no one better to bring them all to you than Lieve Snellings, who is a wildlife photographer with a particular interest in groundhogs. You can see her passion come to life on every page you turn.
Lieve Snellings may have converted this reader into a groundhog fan. Or at least a fan of little Margot. The merging of beautiful, high resolution wildlife photos and digital elements is humorous and captivating. You only need one look at Margot holding a letter she just got in the mail to know the creativity is strong in this picture book. I think kids and adults alike will learn something from Groundhog Secrets. It can sometimes feel like a lot is being thrown at you at once, but in the end it's enjoyable, colorful, vibrant, and fun. And when you're trying to read an educational book to a child, whose attention can easily be lost, fun is an important element. Apparently, there is another Margot book so I know what I'll have to check out pretty soon! Fantastic work from an author who proves that passion can really make a difference every time in what you do.
A beautifully illustrated children’s book that talks about the Groundhog. Filled with intriguing facts about groundhogs and squirrels. Gorgeous illustrations and overall just lovely. Really enjoyed reading
Charming, funny, terrific photos, and interesting info
“ I love this charming (and funny!) book. It’s packed with terrific close-up photos of woodchucks (otherwise known as groundhogs) and tidbits of fascinating information to help you appreciate them and their families. I’m definitely going to share it with a child in my life
A magical book
Groundhog Secrets is a magical encyclopedia of curious and fascinating facts about groundhogs – illustrated with beautiful photos, and narrated by Margot (a groundhog). Who knew that the solitary groundhogs could shift 250 kg of earth in a week, making long underground tunnels with a bedroom and toilet? Or that they whistle to alert others of danger? This book by Lieve Snellings is a complete treat – another delight for fans of the previous Margot books, and a delightful book that will make everyone who reads it feel better about life (even in these terrible times). A perfect gift for every child – and every adult
I really enjoyed their story and loved the photographs�If you want to know all about Groundhogs then this children’s book is for you, told to you by the Groundhogs themselves using full colour photographic illustrations. A very handle little book for any school project. I loved it and discovered that there is even such a thing as a black squirrel! I always wondered about Groundhog Day too. I wonder if the scientists will manage to discover the secrets of their hibernation. Imagine operations without the need for anesthetic. Highly recommend this book to all curious minds.
And I think my grandkids will love learning more about how groundhogs live—it really teaches them
Great for the grandkids �I’ve been looking forward to this book ever since the first “Margot the Groundhog” story, and it was worth the wait! The pictures are cute and clever and really show all the details of how all the different animals look. Can’t wait to tell my grandkids there’s another Margot book, and I think my grandkids will love learning more about how groundhogs live—it really teaches them to respect nature.
The photographs are the stars! They are superb. The fact filled, narrative is entertaining and I learned stuff. I was fascinated to find out that each hair of the ground hog is three colors.
Beautifully illustrated full of amazing facts. My kids loved this book. Fun to read and fun to learn!
Cute and interesting book about groundhogs
Cute and interesting book about groundhogs. Anyone interested in them will love this book.
It was a joy to read and the photos are a great compliment
Once again and lovely book that connects children to wildlife. It was a joy to read and the photos are a great compliment.
An amazing adventure with Margot
Margot is cute and informative in this beautiful story on how groundhogs live and enjoy their world. Margot brings to life the magic that surrounds these magnificent creatures. A story for older children and adults but the pictures are fantastic for the young at heart. A story that parents can read to their kids and teach them at the same time.
I enjoyed every part of this story, and the children will also be very proud to say that they know Margot.
Groundhog Secrets by Lieve Snellings (Childrens, non-fiction, natural history)
Overview and Synopsis : It’s no secret I have a soft spot for animals. I was hoping Groundhog Secrets would clue me in to the hidden life of an animal I’d encountered on in Canada but didn’t know much about. Well, now I know a bit more! Readers are introduced to Margot, a chatty and charming groundhog who is very happy to share the hidden lives of her family (and rodent friends). We learn all sorts of things from the unique fur woodchucks wear to their toilet arrangements (did you know they dig lavatory burrows?).
Narrative and style: Snellings doesn’t shy away from including complicated, scientifically correct terminology but I think that’s a good thing. Children tend to read up and while younger readers will enjoy the lovely, characterful photographs, older readers might enjoy getting their teeth into the details. Some of the language is a bit stilted and could be smoothed out, especially at the start, but that’s not a big issue.
Speaking of photographs, these are great. Sharp focus, appropriate to each page and well composed, they really add to the book. Snellings adds a touch of whimsy here and there with photoshopped hats and letters but that doesn’t detract from the overall professional feel.
World-building: The photos offer a window into the natural world.
Plot: This is a picture driven factual book so there isn’t much in the way of a plot but all the information is logically ordered and flows well. I liked the little snippet of folklore at the end, too.
Overall: Great for any child who is interested in natural history or furry beasties – and for those who aren’t but need some info for a school project!
A wonderful book on groundhogs
Groundhog Secrets: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Woodchucks by Lieve Snellings is a fantastic illustrated children’s book about groundhogs. The pictures are stunning and the facts are very interesting. For example, I honestly had no idea that the groundhog was related to the squirrel or the chipmunk! I would definitely recommend this book to readers of animal lovers
Such an imaginative and endearing study! Once again this talented photographer and author, feminist and naturalist, Lieve Snellings has scored tops with this lovely children’s book. Don’t miss it
ADDI – 4 stars
not EVERYTHING :)
I read this on KU and thought it was charming. Lieve Snellings did tell us a lot of things and gave us a whole slew of funny, interesting pictures. Written in language kids will understand, she almost fulfilled her promise of telling everyone, including adults “everything you ever wanted to know about woodchucks.” But she didn’t answer the most vital question of all:
“JUST HOW MUCH WOOD CAN A WOODCHIUCK, CHUCK, IF A WOODCHUCK CAN CHUCK WOOD?”
Maybe science hasn’t caught up! A lovely little read. Good job
Loved the pictures!
Loved the pictures and laughed at some of the edits to the pics. They were very cute and made me smile. There were cute little remarks along the way, and with along with that, it was very informative. Not boring, as we know how books that teach us can sometimes be, but very sweet. If you have a child that has a love of animals then this would be a good buy
A beautiful book
A beautiful book for children all about woodchucks with stunning photographs and lots of information, such as why they like salt so much, how they drink, and how their burrows underground are built. I can imagine this book being carefully preserved and passed from child to child, enchanting each one. Very well done to the author for an original, and interesting book.
Excellent non-fiction book!
This is an excellent children’s book with many facts about the groundhog. It contains beautiful photographs on each page. My daughters enjoyed learning all about this intriguing animal! I highly recommend this for classrooms everywhere!
Very informative book on woodland creatures�This book is full of interesting information that I didn’t know about groundhogs. I like how the author writes in 1st person as if the groundhog is talking about herself, and her kind. The author goes on to talk about the groundhog family; including squirrels and chipmunks. The images are beautiful and very eye-catching for young and old. This book is probably better for upper elementary age to lower middle school students and could be a good reference book for a school report on groundhogs with all the facts.
Found out some new things!
I had no idea that wood chucks could climb trees! I still don’t quite get how they store fat on a veggie diet. How do they locate each other if they are so solitary? I know I love watching mine, and really enjoyed this book. Thank you.
What an adorable book! The pictures are amazing! I enjoyed learning more about groundhogs. I didn’t realize they were also known as woodchucks. A very informative book. I know children and adults will enjoy reading this book together and learning about these sweet animals.
This is a book that children will love!
I am thoroughly impressed with this book! I am a second grade teacher and the students in my class loved reading about animals and this book would be a perfect addition to my classroom library! The pictures are amazing with so many cute additions and the way this author brought the plot forward is so cute! I have to say that this book is probably better than any of the scholastic animal books that I have seen in a while! Kudos to this author!
Wonderful Nonfiction Book with Delightful Photographs
This is an excellent book, full of facts woven into Margot the Groundhog’s story. I enjoyed learning about groundhogs and truly loved the photography. I plan to recommend this book to school librarians as it will be a great addition to school libraries as well as home.
A book for any age to enjoy!
I was a bit hesitant to read this book because, even though I love children’s books, I’m not big on real-life children’s books or those about nature. It’s great to expose children to them, of course, but I prefer fantastical, magical stories. That’s just me.
With that said, I also enjoy trying new things, especially books with intriguing themes, and this one was definitely unique in nature (no pun intended). As well, I’ve gotten to know the author and her passion for the written word and the entertainment of children is almost tangible. I just had to check out this book.
My final verdict? I enjoyed every minute of it! I was enthralled by the amazing photographs this author captured, and thoroughly impressed with how, with such precision and believability, she incorporated the props into Margot the Woodchuck’s hands. It was an unforgettable experience, reading this book.
I read it on my Kindle, travelling to our family farm, and my older kids were even impressed with the photos and facts I shared with them along the way. At one point, the radio was even turned down and earbuds fell from the ears of teenage boys. THAT was a shocker!
I highly recommend this book to anyone with little ones, especially those who enjoy animal stories. Even adults can appreciate the care and dedication that went into creating this book. I will be reading more by this author.
Groundhogs have the most amazing life!
From the moment Serafine the Postwoman swoops down with a personal letter from Margot’s human friends Marie and Lowieski, Margot is inspired to write her life’s story. If you’ve read “Margot Gets an Unexpected Visit,” you know how precious their friendship is, and how important it is for Margot to impart precisely every fascinating detail of a groundhog’s life, habits and distinguishing characteristics.
But if this is your first encounter with nature photographer and author Lieve Snellings darling woodchuck, you are never left with any questions about what came before. The exquisite detail, the up close and personal photos of Margot and her Sciuridae cousins (squirrels, chipmunks, etc.), and the educational components are all presented in an entertaining narrative.
With Snellings remarkable photography as the backdrop, Margot sometimes goes au naturel, other times she is chic and cheeky with bonnets, hats and scarves which give a hint as to her playful personality. But make no mistake, Margot and her marmot species are brilliant in their use and adaptation of nature’s gifts, especially as architects of very complex underground habitats. This is a book for parents, teachers, and children who will be rewarded with a rich reading experience, a treasure trove of scientific information, and a new respect for the amazing creatures known as groundhogs.
Reading this book together with my two children was a really pleasure. We had the sensation of people who were in holiday in Quebec. I specially wonder the creativity of the writer to give live personage's names and roles to each sort of groundhog and let them play in an imaginable scenario. Lovely!
Fantastic work Lieve, thanks!
Groundhog Secrets: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Woodchucks by Lieve Snellings is a delightful children’s book that kids of all ages will enjoy. Filled with fascinating facts about our “groundhogs” and endearing pictures of the marmot, this book will sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face and encourage little ones to explore our beautiful world.
What a wonderful book!
The photographs alone are enough to make this book well worth the purchase! The pictures and information about groundhogs and other small critters are just fantastic! Very well done and highly recommended for teachers and parents alike!
Cutest animal book ever!
I’ve read a lot of informational books about animals, books with photographs of animals and stories narrated by animals, but this book does it all . . . AND it’s just SO cute! It is my new favorite animal book bar none!
You will immediately fall in love with Margot, a Canadian groundhog from Quebec, and you will learn more about groundhogs than you ever thought you would. At least I did! Did you know groundhogs are also called woodchucks? Do you know what they eat, how they live, where they live, how they look and what they do when they’re scared, how they hibernate and when and how many pups they have? Well, you will after reading this charming book! This book is appealing to children because the story is told by Margot, who will teach you all about groundhogs (and about some of her cousins, the chipmunk and various squirrels, too)!
There’s a lot of information in this book, but little ones (and their parents/caregivers/teachers) won’t feel like it’s a boring lesson because the photographs of Margot (and some of her darling cousins) on every page are just that adorable! Kids will have a new found respect for these animals and will want to look at this book over and over again. In fact, I think I will be looking at this book over and over again!
Too Cute and Super Informative!!
Being that it is Groundhog Day, I thought I would learn a little bit about those cute little guys. This book was so informative! I had no idea that woodchucks, groundhogs, and whistle pigs (hilarious name by the way ) were the same thing. I love the real pictures and the cute little story that went along with the information. It was a quick read and my kids enjoyed seeing the cute little marmots.
This is a much NEEDED book!
Love this book as well as Groundhog’s secrets. The nature-based pictures are breathtaking and the books are very informative and educational. I highly recommend it! You won’t be disappointed.
This is a very informative and interesting book about groundhogs. Living in Asia, in a tiny island called Sri Lanka to be exact, I’ve never seen or heard about groundhogs before, so this little book opened my eyes to an entirely new world.!! The closest relatives to groundhogs we have in this part of the world, half a hemisphere away, are the small squirrels. Therefore, This book was definitely an eye opener about a new species I never knew existed. The pictures are real and so cute and the author who is also the photographer of this book has gone into greater lengths to provide us an exclusive insight to the lives of groundhogs through her lively photography. It is quite factual and has every thing you need to know about groundhogs (just as the title suggests) and could be a favourite among animal lovers, young and old alike..!!!
What a great way to learn about Groundhogs
This wonderfully illustrated book teaches you everything there is to know about Groundhogs otherwise known as woodchucks. We also learn some interesting facts of animals in their family including squirrels. This book is jam-packed with true facts from the eating habits, living quarters, and hibernation process. Schools would benefit having this factual book in their libraries children and adults alike will love this.
Informative for Children and Parents
Children and parents will love this book that tells it all and then some about Woodchucks/Ground Hogs via the main character, Margot the Woodchuck.. Bonus background on how Ground Hog Day originated. Photographer, Lieve Snellings brings the story and facts to life with her own nature photo illustrations. Highly recommend as a worthy addition to a child’s book library or the classroom.
I tried already to leave a comment on Amazon this morning but was not able to do that. They did not allow me to. They are beautiful animals and it is a nice way you present it with the book.
Stunning photos and plenty of facts
A beautifully presented educational book all about Groundhogs. The information is presented in the form of a story and is fully illustrated with stunning photographs, some of which really made me smile. There’s lots of great factual content and I can imagine this story being popular with schools and children who are interested in nature.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book about groundhogs and learned so much new information in the process. For example, I was unaware that groundhogs and woodchucks are the same. I didn’t realize that groundhogs hibernate, nor could I imagine the intricacy of their tunnel passageways that can extend five feet below the ground. It’s strange to think that groundhogs crave sodium and often get it by eating the snow plowed against the side of the road.
The author’s beautiful photographs and book design add another dimension to the work. Readers learn about the physical characteristics of the groundhog, their diet, their tunnels, mating practices, and communication. They belong to the class of marmots which live in the Northern Hemisphere. Snellings gives a brief account of the marmots related to the groundhog such as the black, squirrel, gray squirrel, red squirrel, and chipmunk.
Doctors study the hibernation habits of the groundhog and hope to be able to use this information to help humans undergo surgery without anesthesia one day. Young readers will learn so much in this charming tale, narrated by Margot the Groundhog. I highly recommend this book for parents, teachers, and young animal lovers ages six through twelve.
A beautiful book in which Margot, the woodchuck, gives a detailed description of her life and that of her extended family. The outstanding photographs really make this informative book special. Well done Lieve!
I learned so much, and the pictures were beautiful!
I loved the book Groundhog Secrets. It provides a lot of valuable information about this cute and interesting animal, alongside breathtaking professional pictures. It’s interesting for everyone: children as well as adults. I’m so glad I bought it!