Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Shelter, written by Celine Claire and illustrated by Qin Leng. Kids Can Press, 2017. $18.99 ages 4 and up
There's no time for panic.
Together, the animals all
set to work gathering wood ...
... squirreling away food and
quieting their fears.
They must be prepared.
At last, everything is ready ... "
A STORM IS COMING! no longer frightens me at all. That is what happens with retirement - on most days. Of course, I will have to deal with its aftermath; when it arrives, I call SNOW DAY and stay put.
When the forest animals hear the news of an impending storm from worried birds, there is no panic. Instead, they all get at it. They gather wood, food and other necessities that will help them weather any inconvenience it might bring. As the wind picks up and the storm rages, the fox family enjoys the warmth of their den and the meal prepared for them. Little Fox has a worry.
"What if others are still outside?"
A turn of the page shows two indistinct figures emerging from the windswept landscape. The animal families are aware of their presence and have questions. When they hear a knock on their doors, they are quick to refuse entrance and hustle them off to the next home. Each family has a lie to tell concerning the help they can give the two bears.
"Our bellies are empty. In exchange
for some tea, could we have a few cookies
"We have no food. Try next door."
Readers see the giant pile of acorns stored in the squirrel's tree. Poor bears! The story is the same at every turn ... no one is willing to help. Don't forget Little Fox. His kindness shines through. The brothers determine to make the most of a nearby hill, knowing they will be fine as the snow falls around them. They have their tea to keep them warm.
Will they repay the kindness shown when the Fox family finds itself in peril?
At a time when we are in need of kind gestures and warmth, this gentle story is perfect for reading aloud with our children. The watercolor and ink artwork adds compassion and depth to this tale of finding refuge when it is needed.