A youngster deals with the persistent impatience that attends wanting to grow bigger.
Juniper, an anthropomorphic raccoon with two parents, does not like being little, so she is frustrated when, “three days later,” her mother’s assurances to have “patience” don’t pay off. Feeling dwarfed by objects around her house, she goes on a spree, building height-extenders to fix her dilemma, manifested in a succession of hard-to-reach cookie jars (of which there are a surprising number for one raccoon family). At school, Juniper feels more at ease because there, she is “average.” She makes friends with a new student, Clove, and is impressed by the squirrel’s acrobatics, which make up for her diminutive size. Clove invites her to a sleepover, and it turns out that a young raccoon is about the size of adult squirrels, so Juniper loves being “adult-size” in a house where she can easily reach the box of cookies on the top shelf. But there are some drawbacks, like how “hide-and-seek [is] unexpectedly quick.” Juniper returns home with a new appreciation for things as they are. The text is cordial and playful, including alliteration for her various inventions that all “fell short.” Cassie’s drawings resemble black pen and watercolors. Most of the items populating the friendly cast of woodland creatures’ homes are all-natural, aligning with the woodsy color palette.
Fetching in words and pictures, this story shows how sometimes all one needs is a growth in perspective. (Picture book. 4-8)