cover image Frightful's Daughter Meets the Baron Weasel

Frightful's Daughter Meets the Baron Weasel

Jean Craighead George. Dutton Children's Books, $16.99 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-525-47202-5

George and San Souci (Frightful's Daughter) team up again to continue the nature series George began more than four decades ago with My Side of the Mountain. Three novels and two picture books later, the story of Sam Gribley and his animal companions keeps unfolding in a majestic mountain setting, ably captured by San Souci. Baron Weasel is out to get the two chicks belonging to Oksi, the daughter of Sam's falcon, Frightful. The objective, true-to-nature interplay between species occurs with a just a hint of anthropomorphizing: ""The Baron's eyes twinkled,"" for example, suggests an intentionally mischievous creature. Brown- and green-hued watercolors bring to life the Catskills' beauty; mist-shrouded mountains and green firs provide the backdrop for the Baron's persistent hunting antics. Readers come face to face with the beady, black eyes of both the falcons and weasels in their respective homes. While children unfamiliar with the previous books might be initially confused with introductions in the first spread (""Oksi, the daughter of Frightful, the legendary peregrine falcon of the Catskills, was busy hunting"") the need to keep lineage straight quickly takes a back seat to the engaging tale, told, as always, in George's straightforward, informative style. Ages 4-up. (Oct.) The Frog Who Wanted to See the Sea