cover image Raccoons and Ripe Corn

Raccoons and Ripe Corn

Jim Arnosky. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, $16 (25pp) ISBN 978-0-688-05455-7

On an autumn night, nature sends dry, yellow leaves and raccoons from a tree near the farm to the cornfield. The corn is ripe and the raccoons feast on the sweet kernels. The night passes, and the moon, an owl and the raccoons retreat before sunrise. Green husks, bare ears and half-eaten corn are left scattered among the fallen leaves. Arnosky's photograph-like depiction of nature allows the smallest of life-forms and the largest of natural phenomena to participate in one uniform processearth and sky, autumn winds and nocturnal animals, hunger and eating are all parts of nature's weaving. Fall colors of brown and yellow take on a softened, pastel look in the realistic night setting, and accurate details (the moonlight reflected in raccoon eyes) give readers a good picture of one night's occurrence. But a question remains: Can a stalk of corn really support a small but weighty-looking owl? Ages 3-8. (September)