Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A Friend for All Seasons

A Friend for All Seasons

Julia Hubery
Illustrator:  Mei Matsuoka 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Simon and Schuster, 2007   ISBN: 978-1416926856

Robbie Raccoon was born in a den inside the comfortingly strong trunk of Father Oak. In the spring, he learned how to climb along the branches of the great tree, and in the summer Robbie and his friends Chip and Blackbird played together shaded by the tree’s leaves.

One fall morning Robbie wakes up to discover that his world has changed. Instead of seeing a familiar landscape of branches and green leaves, he sees “a chilly silvery mist,” and when he reaches out to pick a strangely golden colored leaf, the leaf drops to the ground. Soon Robbie is surrounded by falling twirling leaves that are gold and yellow and brown. Robbie and his friends start to worry that something is wrong. Is Father Oak “crying all his leaves away?” Is something making him sad?

This charming and heart warming book is a delightful celebration of the changing seasons. Little children will understand why Robbie and his friends get so worried, and they will be comforted when they find out the truth about fall, and why fall (and the cold months that follow) is a good thing after all.

Mei Matsuoka’s delightful multimedia illustrations provide a perfect backdrop for the text, capturing the sweetness of the animal characters and the beauty and splendor of the tree that they love so much.