Stranger in the Woods by Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick

Stranger in the Woods (1997)
Written and Illustrated by Carl R. Sans II & Jean Stoick

In honor of the fact that we played in our first significant snowfall of the year yesterday I decided to read and review a snowy, winter tale. Stranger in the Woods is a cute story about a winter discovery made by the forest creatures. The story takes place on a snowy day when it is discovered that there is a stranger in the forest; and it has all of the animals curious. The animals discuss who should go and check it out to see if this stranger is a friend or not. There are deer, many types of birds, and small mammals in this story. Children will love seeing that the stranger is a snowman made by two children and they will also enjoy the fun treat that the animals get from this stranger.

This story is written with very simple wording and is in the point of view of the animals. The most unique part of this story is that it is illustrated with gorgeous wildlife photography. The husband and wife duo that wrote and illustrated this book have a real talent for getting close enough to wildlife to get the pictures they need for to tell their story. Stranger in the Woods is full of close-ups of wildlife in winter, and it portrays the forest as the winter wonderland that it is to children. The story itself makes the forest seem like an enchanted place, but it truly is the photography that brings the magic to life.

Children of all ages will enjoy this story, with early childhood and beginner readers relating the most with the fantasy of the forest. It is a great read aloud, made especially to be read on a cold and snowy day. Unfortunately many city dwelling children may have not ever had the opportunity to see some of the remarkable common forest animals that are pictured in this book. I think that they those children will not only enjoy, but benefit from seeing the photographs of the wildlife along with learning their names from this story.

Content- B
Illustrations- B
Readability- A

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