A groundhog who wants to be appreciated for more than his meteorological skills decides to go on vacation.
Every year, it’s always the same: “Are there going to be six more weeks of winter?! Is spring around the corner?!” People never ask Groundhog about him. So he packs up and heads to the spa, leaving a letter behind to explain himself. The mayor holds auditions for Groundhog’s position, but no animal can match him: among others, Elephant is too big, the nocturnal animals’ schedules are wrong, and “Ostrich got the whole thing backward.” But the auditions do make the TV news, and Groundhog is pleased to hear that his flair, work ethic, and all-around specialness are appreciated after all. He heads home to wide acclaim and loads of questions about himself. Happy, he gives his February forecast and heads into his hole…where Pearlman shatters Groundhog’s peace with a televised announcement that the Easter Bunny has quit. Helquist uses Groundhog’s perspective to show readers just how he is feeling—the scene after he’s shown himself on Groundhog Day, surrounded by litter and utterly alone, is particularly poignant, though the images of him at the spa, cucumbers on his eyes, and the auditioning animals help balance the mood.
Readers will never look at Groundhog Day in quite the same way again. (Picture book. 4-7)