A Fawn in the Grass

Overview

An intriguing journey into the natural world — from deep in the grass to high overhead.

"There's a worm on a string,

who is swaying in space.

There's a white butterfly

on a circle of lace."

As a young child takes a walk in the woods, the world comes alive with creatures and treasures big and small — from ...

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Overview

An intriguing journey into the natural world — from deep in the grass to high overhead.

"There's a worm on a string,

who is swaying in space.

There's a white butterfly

on a circle of lace."

As a young child takes a walk in the woods, the world comes alive with creatures and treasures big and small — from ants and lizards to moles and hawks. But the most special discovery of the day is the fawn in the grass who watches the narrator's journey begin and end.

Joanne Ryder's lyrical text and Keiko Narahashi's beautifully detailed illustrations capture the wonders of nature from a child's point of view.

Rhyming text lists a series of animals in their natural habitats, from a fawn in the grass and a snail underneath a leaf to a buzzing bee and two racing hummingbirds.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Using a theme she explored for slightly older children in Step into the Night and Mockingbird Morning, Ryder's child-centered lyric poem identifies the riches to be found on a walk through a field. "There are treasures to see/ hiding all around me," says the unnamed child narrator. "I see more things each day/ as new friends come my way." Beginning and ending with the shy fawn of the title, Ryder's satisfying rhymes identify such sounds and sights as "a lizard who creeps/ past another who sleeps" and "a blur and a whir/ as two hummingbirds race." Narahashi (Who Said Red?) populates her deceptively simple gouache and watercolor paintings with chickadees, ferns, shadowed bark and sleepy woodland flowers. Her delicate renderings create just enough suspense to keep young readers turning pages. A mysterious nose peeks from a hole in the ground and on the succeeding page becomes a pink-faced mole. A "speck in the sky" transforms into a sweeping panorama of "a hawk circl[ing] high." A white butterfly in a plain blue sky lands lightly on the next spread "on a circle of [Queen Anne's] lace." Though never stated explicitly, the book underscores the message that nature is full of beauty, grace and unexpected pleasures. Ages 2-5. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
This subtle and lyrical poem describing a walk in the woods is set to the music of botanically accurate renderings of the woodland's wildflowers and trees. The voice is reverent, gentle, observant—of moles, skunks, chickadees in trees, a hawk on high. The point of view is a sandal-clad small boy who delights in all he sees. A white butterfly floats beyond reach; the boy touches an inchworm as the butterfly settles on Queen Anne's lace. The climax, of course, is the "fawn in the grass/ watching me as I pass." This is just the book to point any young child toward everyday beauties in the natural world. An endnote informs readers that the book's inspiration came from an actual fawn born in the author's back yard. 2001, Henry Holt, $16.95. Ages 2 to 5. Reviewer: Nancy Tilly
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Through a simple rhyming text, Ryder encourages readers to explore the world around them as she describes some of the creatures found in many parts of the country. "There's a fawn in the grass,/watching me as I pass./I am silent and slow/as it watches me go./There's a trail on a leaf/and a snail underneath./There are treasures to see/hiding all around me." The fawn begins and ends the cycle; in between are lizards, hummingbirds, a mole, a hawk, and more. Narahashi's gouache-and-watercolor illustrations extend the possibilities for exploration by showing additional life that is not mentioned explicitly. The artist's shifting perspectives from eye level to ground and then looking down from above widens the scope for readers' perceptions and adds to the overall effectiveness of the book. A brief note and photograph at the end reveal the actual fawn that inspired the story. An excellent choice for storytime or general reading aloud.-Ellen A. Greever, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805062366
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 4/15/2001
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.72 (w) x 10.36 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Joanne Ryder has written many books for children, including Earthdance. She is the recipient of the American Nature Study Society's Award for Children's Science Literature. Joanne lives in Pacific Grove, California with her husband Laurence Yep.

Keiko Narahashi has illustrated several picture books for young readers, including Without Wings, Mother, How Can I Fly? Keiko lives in New York City with her family.

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