It’s tough to relax and enjoy a camping trip when there’s a friend along whose sense of humor is hurtful.
Allenby’s five woodland characters are full of personality. Timo, a rabbit, is the nervous one. When Suki, a squirrel, suggests a camping trip, Timo’s dubious expression speaks volumes. But Suki knows how to get the gang onboard, assigning each a job title that fits their strengths; Bogs is dubbed the “Toad of Tunes,” for example. As the trip unfolds, the group’s inexperience causes mishaps, which become fodder for Suki’s teasing. Timo is uncomfortable, but everyone else is laughing, though Suki’s target’s body language is clear. All Timo hopes is that he doesn’t do something foolish, too. But it’s inevitable, and when Suki opens her mouth to speak, Timo yells, “Stop!” “Suddenly all the words he had been holding in burst out like water from a dam.” This allows the group to have a conversation about their feelings, and Suki is plainly remorseful. That night the five share a wonderful evening practicing the camping skills Timo learned at the library. And Suki shares her idea for their next adventure….Griffiths’ digital illustrations depict the animals realistically but also anthropomorphize them with clothing; they walk on two legs. Vignette, single-page, and double-page artwork serves to show the friends’ emotions and illustrate the text.
Beginning chapter-book readers will look for the friends’ next adventure and head to the library whenever their own skills are lacking. (Animal fantasy. 6-9)<