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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Red Knit Cap Girl to the Rescue, written and illustrated by Naoko Stoop. Little. Brown and Company, Hachette. 2013. $19.00 ages 3 and up

"That evening, Red Knit Cap Girl calls out gently to the Moon. "Moon, we are trying to find Polar Bear Cub's family. Can you help us?" Moon smiles and says, "Polar Bear Cub doesn't belong in our forest. You must take him to the North, where there is ice and snow and it is cold all year round."

I trust that you met Red Knit Cap Girl in her first book...she is a charmer. In that story she spent time with her forest animal friends and her fondest wish was to talk to the Moon. Luckily, she did that.

So, in this story, she counts on that friendship to help her with a dilemma. In the beginning, she is busy with White Rabbit, Bear and Squirrel creating kites, boats and telescopes from recycled papers. They are having great fun. Then, they spot an SOS, and spy a stranded polar bear cub floating by on a small bit of ice floe.

Using her wit and the materials at hand, she and White Bunny tug Polar Bear Cub to shore, a much safer place for him. Knowing that his family will be frantic to find him, Red Knit Cap Girl turns to her friend Moon for guidance. Moon is quick to respond.

With disarming ingenuity, the friends design a boat on a much grander scale than the ones they had played with earlier, and give it a sail to help with the long journey. They all climb aboard and, using the moon as their beacon, they sail through stormy seas to the land the Moon had described for them.
The end result is certainly worth the effort!

Using acrylic, pencil and ink on plywood, Naoko Stoop treats us to a world that is simple and subtle. Yet, there is depth, and you can almost feel the textures on the lovingly designed pages. If I had to choose a favorite, I would choose the wonder of the northern lights; but that is a very difficult choice, since each page has its own special appeal.

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