Wednesday, December 28, 2011

15. A House in the Woods

Written & illustrated by Inga Moore
Candlewick, 2011
$ 16.99, ages 3 and up, 48 pages

Two pigs return home to find their sweet but clumsy friends have moved in and wrecked their delicate shelters, in this adorable picture book by Inga Moore.

Oh dear, Moose and Bear really meant no harm. They just thought they'd stay a bit.

But as they squeezed into one little pig's den and another's hut, the roofs tumbled in over their heads.

Now Moose, Bear and the little pigs don't have a place in the woods to call their own.

But not to worry, because Moose has a brilliant idea:

The four friends will hire the beavers to build them a big house of logs where they can all live together.

This is a marvelous tale about forging ahead no matter what happens.  If one door closes (or is crushed), another one can be found if you just stick together.

A tenderness flows through the story both in words and pictures, from the animals blithe and buoyant attitude to the misty woods where they live.

Readers will instantly love these kind and obliging animals, who carry themselves as sweetly as they behave.

The pigs are dainty yet plump, with cute paunchy bellies. Each walk on two feet, at the tips of their hoofs, like ballerinas.

Though Moose is lanky and has a showman's belly, he too walks on the ends of two hoofs, and struts contentedly about.

Bear, a saggy soft-looking fellow, lumbers around with his friends, as gentle and kind as the others.

And the beavers, to which Moore dedicates this book, are helpful with hesitation.

Each little scruffy fellow has two big teeth that make him look as if he always has a grin. 

And all the beavers ask in return for building the house: a plate or two of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

This is a book that soaks into readers hearts, and makes them want to go out and share something of themselves too.

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