Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox

Susan Blackaby, illus. by Carmen Segovia, Sterling, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4027-4336-8
Flap copy explains that Blackaby (Nest, Nook, and Cranny) was asked to write a tale to go with artwork that Segovia (The China Doll) had already created. Despite the story's out-of-sequence construction, it flows naturally. Segovia's paintings of snowy landscapes are heavily shaded and sculpted, and accented with quiet reds and blues; they evoke the two-color classics of the mid–20th century. Brownie the groundhog is waiting for spring; she meets a fox who is waiting for his next meal, and Brownie holds him off from eating her with some skillful talking. Fortunately, the fox is far from threatening. "I want to eat you now. No more waiting," he moans after he's worked up an appetite while ice-skating with her. "I know just how you feel," Brownie replies sympathetically. She ties him up with a scarf, then, when he howls, offers him a snack (but keeps him tied up a bit longer). "No snapping," she says, feeding him. For a book about predator and prey, the book moves at a surprisingly slow, comforting pace, making it a promising bedtime selection for younger children, who will enjoy Brownie's mastery of the situation. Ages 3–up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
Genre: Children's
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