Animals awaken to a lovely morning and get ready for their day.
Chirping birds, splashing frogs and turtles, fish and crabs in the deep sea, and gently floating butterflies all appear in their natural habitats as they begin their day. To a greater or lesser extent, all are depicted as anthropomorphic. Many have homes with beds and other furniture and indoor plumbing. Many wear clothes, brush their teeth, and eat with cutlery. Raccoons play banjos, and porcupines, rabbits, and beavers enjoy playground equipment. They are all neighbors living harmoniously in an idyllic village with expansive parkland (and even a bandstand). A bear family provides a narrative anchor for this very slight tale, as illustrations depict them preparing for a fishing trip amid the rest of the bustle. The book ends when the father bear goes back to bed, and mother and child go fishing together. Each activity is accompanied by boldfaced, large-print, simple descriptive words or phrases that move with the characters through their morning ablutions. Softly colored, detailed cartoon illustrations bring to mind some of the more gently themed animated films of long ago. The pale yellow and brown endpapers could be wallpaper in a child’s room.
There is no real story to speak of and it feels more than a bit treacly, but very young readers will enjoy seeing the everyday activities and the gentle spirits of these animal counterparts. (Picture book. 2-5)