Monday, August 11, 2008

Sleeping Animals

I hadn’t intended to write about picture books today, but as I am readying a new workshop on picture books, I came across two books. Ironically both are about animals who have found a safe haven. One sleeps through storm and gale, while the other is soon startled awake. The Searcher and the Old Tree by David McPhail tells the story of a raccoon who settles down to sleep in the arms of an old tree. When seemingly gale force winds rock the tree, the Searcher sleeps on. (Oh! if only I could do that.) Scoot! By Cathryn Falwell tells the story of busy pond animals while six silent turtles slumber away.

Both stories are beautifully illustrated. McPhail’s lovely watercolor illustrations are peaceful and comforting until the storm hits. Even then, the branches of the old tree curl around, protecting its inhabitant. Falwell’s are paper cut collages, using- in fact, some of the things she found in nature to write about. Both are perfect for a Storytime. Add Scoot! to your science lessons on habitats. Use The Searcher in a lesson about animals or allegories. Where is your safe haven?

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