by Philip C. Stead
A Neal Porter Book (Roaring Brook Press), 2016. 40 pages.
Here’s a quiet book about friendship. This isn’t an action book for keeping a class distracted, but a cozy book to look at closely and share in a lap or with a friend. The beautiful paintings add to the experience, though the scenes don’t change a lot – dandelions or snow.
Samson the wooly mammoth tends his dandelion patch on sunny days, hoping for a friend to come along. One day, a little red bird comes and takes some flowers for her friend, who is having a bad day. The friend’s favorite color is yellow.
After the bird flies away, Samson falls asleep. While he is sleeping, the weather changes, and everything gets covered with snow.
When Samson sees everything all covered with snow, he worries about the little red bird, and sets off to look for her.
As he walks around, he finds a little mouse. The mouse is having a bad day, but is looking for his friend. She is small like him, and he’s worried that she’s covered up by the snow.
The mouse gets warm in Samson’s wooly fur, and together they keep searching. Samson sees something yellow, and it turns out the mouse’s favorite color is yellow, too.
When Samson goes to the yellow spot, it turns out to be the little red bird, very cold in the snow.
Samson takes the mouse and the bird to a warm cave and they all recover and talk about their adventures in the snow.
If it seems a little unlikely that Samson would find the bird’s friend on his walk, well, I like the way it’s left to the reader to figure that out. We see friends caring for each other and Samson, who was waiting for a friend, finds two.
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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.
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