Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Substitute Groundhog

Substitute Groundhog

Pat Miller
Illustrator:  Kathi Ember 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Albert Whitman, 2006   ISBN: 978-0807576434

On February 1st Groundhog wakes up with a nasty case of the flu. The doctor tells him that he needs to rest in bed for a couple of days but how can Groundhog rest when he has to check his shadow early in the morning on the 2nd of February, on Groundhog Day. Groundhog decides to advertise for a substitute to take his place on this important day. Surely it won’t be hard to find an animal who can climb out of Groundhog’s hole to look at his own shadow.

Unfortunately it turns out to be surprisingly difficult to find the right animal to do the job. Mole cannot see well enough to see his shadow and Eagle cannot fit in Groundhog’s hole. And as for Bear, well he can see well and get in the hole but he cannot seem to stay awake to do what is necessary. Will poor Groundhog ever find someone to help him in his hour of need?

Readers who enjoy celebrating Groundhog Day will we hard pressed not to find this book entertaining and amusing. Best of all children will love the way in which Groundhog finds a way to get himself an early Spring, in spite of his substitute’s “six more weeks of winter” prediction.