This nature-themed picture book brings readers through autumn and just into winter.
Author Casanova and illustrator Wroblewski team up to deliver an homage to the North American woods as autumn slips into winter. Casanova’s singsong rhyming text is filled with evocations of the quiet busyness of common forest animals—deer, bear, beaver, and owl, among year-round residents, and such summer visitors as loon and hummingbird—as they prepare for winter months ahead. The narrative doesn’t give nature information so much as it soothes and quiets readers’ spirits with its gentle and lyrical telling of preparation and rest. Wroblewski’s full-color woodcut illustrations feature masterful design in their overall composition and accuracy in their depiction of nature—and here is where more information about the nature of the animals and the environment can be found. Beavers fell trees, and the illustration shows exactly how that tree trunk looks after it has been gnawed by the animal’s large front teeth. Raccoons catch crayfish, and the illustration shows them rolling the crustaceans in the stream before eating, as they do. In the illustrations’ splendid accuracy, the grandeur of the natural world speaks for itself. The illustrations’ movement and flow belie their laborious technique; fur appears textured, the sky is subtle, viewpoints are stimulating, and the animals move fluidly. The two humans shown appear white.
A soothing and superb story to read to nature lovers at bedtime. (Picture book. 3-7)<