A moose and his forest friends are busy planning a Valentine’s Day party, but one aspect of the organizing stops them in their tracks.
Squirrel’s got the balloons covered, Bunny’s on the cards, and Porcupine is practicing hugs. But when Moose announces that everyone has to come, Bunny points out a potential problem: if Groundhog sees his shadow, he’ll go back to sleep and miss the party. The animals try to devise clever solutions, but they argue so long about which is best that they miss their opportunity: Groundhog’s already seen his shadow and gone back inside. When the friends surmise that he is afraid of shadows, they each propose a fun way to ease his fears, and they are successful. But to their disappointment, Groundhog is still going back to bed: it’s cold. They do receive “Groundhugs” beforehand, though. Six weeks later Groundhog emerges sporting a jaunty green suit and top hat, ready for a St. Patrick’s Day party. But now Bunny is mysteriously holed up….Denise’s digital illustrations anthropomorphize the friends, who walk on their hind legs. Most are accessorized and/or clothed, and they are surrounded by familiar human sights: houses, furniture, teacups. The light and shadows in the artwork are magical, a golden glow pervading the spreads.
Readers may learn a thing or two about both being a friend and getting over their own fears. (Picture book. 4-8)