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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Edmond: The Moonlit Party, written by Astrid Desbordes and illustrated by Marc Boutavant. Enchanted Lion Books, Publishers Group Canada. 2015. $24.95 ages 4 and up

"Harry the bear lived at the bottom of the old chestnut tree. He was known throughout the forest for the parties he threw each season. As soon as he announced a party, no one would talk of anything else. This time, when Edmond heard the excitement through his window, he thought how fun singing, dancing and talking with friends must be."

Three neighbors share the same chestnut tree. Edmond Squirrel is shy, loving his own company as he reads about the adventures of others, makes pompoms and delicious nut jam. His pompom hats are spectacular and he thinks that might they might just be his calling. George is a owl who lives in the tree top. He gads about collecting whatever suits his fancy for making unbelievable costumes. When he is out and about in one of his disguises, he goes unrecognized by the other forest inhabitants. Harry Bear lives at the bottom of their tree. He is a party planner extraordinaire. He loves to party with friends, and they love to accept his invitations. In fact, Harry is just planning his next party when we meet him.

As Edmond listens to the sounds coming from downstairs, he realizes that he is lonely. To avoid feeling that way any longer, he prepares for sleep. That's when George arrives, telling Edmond that he can smell his jam. After a quick taste, he reminds Edmond about the party. Edmond throws caution to the wind, dons his pompom hat, scoops up what is left of the jam and heads out with a disguised George. Harry is delighted to welcome Edmond and his seagull (George in disguise). The party is a rousing success. Might it change Edmond's mind about future gatherings?

Brightly colored illustrations offer readers a chance to see how each of the tree's inhabitants live their lives through the many lovely details. They are cheerful and inviting and add depth to a story about personality and friendship.

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