Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox

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Overview

Happy Groundhog Day! But when Brownie steps outside, there's not even the slightest sign of spring—just her shadow, a frosty field, and a hungry fox who wants to munch her for lunch. Determined not to become a meal, Brownie finds a clever and tasty way to melt the ice and turn Fox into a friend…and make the wait for winter's end a little warmer.

Susan Blackaby's deliciously witty writing and Carmen Segovia's adorable animals and stunning landscapes combine to create a picture ...

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Overview

Happy Groundhog Day! But when Brownie steps outside, there's not even the slightest sign of spring—just her shadow, a frosty field, and a hungry fox who wants to munch her for lunch. Determined not to become a meal, Brownie finds a clever and tasty way to melt the ice and turn Fox into a friend…and make the wait for winter's end a little warmer.

Susan Blackaby's deliciously witty writing and Carmen Segovia's adorable animals and stunning landscapes combine to create a picture book filled with springtime joy. Just right for reading with a cup of cocoa and cinnamon toast…Brownie's favorite meal!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Flap copy explains that Blackaby (Nest, Nook, and Cranny) was asked to write a tale to go with artwork that Segovia (The China Doll) had already created. Despite the story's out-of-sequence construction, it flows naturally. Segovia's paintings of snowy landscapes are heavily shaded and sculpted, and accented with quiet reds and blues; they evoke the two-color classics of the mid–20th century. Brownie the groundhog is waiting for spring; she meets a fox who is waiting for his next meal, and Brownie holds him off from eating her with some skillful talking. Fortunately, the fox is far from threatening. "I want to eat you now. No more waiting," he moans after he's worked up an appetite while ice-skating with her. "I know just how you feel," Brownie replies sympathetically. She ties him up with a scarf, then, when he howls, offers him a snack (but keeps him tied up a bit longer). "No snapping," she says, feeding him. For a book about predator and prey, the book moves at a surprisingly slow, comforting pace, making it a promising bedtime selection for younger children, who will enjoy Brownie's mastery of the situation. Ages 3–up. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"When Brownie wakes up on the second of February, she opens her door, looks out, and scoffs, “Phooey, six more weeks of winter.” She does not like waiting. Before she can go back inside, a fox pounces on her, eager for breakfast. But clever Brownie finds a way to keep him busy through lunch and then dinner, spending their time looking for spring. After some skating, they've both worked up an appetite and the fox is tired of waiting, too. By tricking Fox, Brownie's life is spared and a new friendship begins, just as the first sign of spring arrives. Segovia's acrylic and ink artwork captures the clear sky of winter and accentuates the white/gray of a heavy snowfall. Brownie's black/brown fur is set off with a bright red scarf as an equally vibrant Fox stands out against a chilly landscape. The theme of outfoxing a fox is a familiar one, but this story is particularly endearing. Children will find it delightful."--School Library Journal (STARRED REVIEW)
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
Perfect for Groundhog Day on February 2 is this tale by Susan Blackaby of a groundhog who outfoxes a fox. When the pudgy rodent ventures out for her annual winter weather prediction, she crosses paths with hungry Reynard. Brownie uses her wits and scarf to foil the predator and turn him into a pal content with cocoa and cinnamon toast. Especially fun is the banter between the wily groundhog and the tummy-focused fox. The book is visually stunning, with a snowy landscape punctuated by the red of the fox, the scarf, the robin and Brownie's picnic basket. Carmen Segovia's artwork limns the mood of hushed anticipation that prefigures spring. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—When Brownie wakes up on the second of February, she opens her door, looks out, and scoffs, "Phooey, six more weeks of winter." She does not like waiting. Before she can go back inside, a fox pounces on her, eager for breakfast. But clever Brownie finds a way to keep him busy through lunch and then dinner, spending their time looking for spring. After some skating, they've both worked up an appetite and the fox is tired of waiting, too. By tricking Fox, Brownie's life is spared and a new friendship begins, just as the first sign of spring arrives. Segovia's acrylic and ink artwork captures the clear sky of winter and accentuates the white/gray of a heavy snowfall. Brownie's black/brown fur is set off with a bright red scarf as an equally vibrant Fox stands out against a chilly landscape. The theme of outfoxing a fox is a familiar one, but this story is particularly endearing. Children will find it delightful.—C. J. Connor, Campbell County Public Library, Cold Spring, KY
Kirkus Reviews
Given that Groundhog Day doesn't even begin to garner the same wealth of picture-book tie-ins as some of the more popular holidays, it is refreshing to find such a beautiful book for this oft-forgotten day of the year. Brownie Groundhog wakes herself on the second of February only to find to her chagrin that she can see her shadow. Yet these gloomy thoughts are soon forgotten when a hungry fox makes it clear that Brownie will be his next meal. As in any good, old-fashioned trickster tale, Brownie cleverly and consistently delays the fox, putting off his incipient noshing and sneakily tying him to a tree with her bright red scarf. A charitable soul, Brownie shares her cocoa and cinnamon toast, and the two make plans to meet again the next day—with something yummy to share. Spanish illustrator Segovia's acrylic paints and inks elevate the simple-seeming story, truly driving home the bone-penetrating chill of a typical February day.Blackaby is as tricky as her heroine, economically developing two distinct and likable characters and delivering plenty of chuckles and wordplay. Elegant.(Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402743368
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 1/4/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 605,633
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Lexile: 440L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Blackaby's first picture book, Rembrandt's Hat, was praised by Publishers Weekly as a “satisfyingly spontaneous and quirky tale…simply 'fedorable.'” Susan is also the author of Sterling Biographies®: Cleopatra--which “leaves readers fascinated and eager to learn more” (School Library Journal)--and a poetry collection, Nest, Nook, and Cranny. Susan lives in Portland, Oregon.  
About the Illustrator
Carmen Segovia is an award-winning illustrator who lives in Barcelona, Spain. One winter, she chose to sketch a little groundhog that wakes before spring and passes the time by sliding down a snowy hill, and building a “snow friend.”  The paintings were selected for the Bologna Children's Book Fair Illustrators Exhibition where Carmen's American editor became determined to create a book starring the groundhog. Carmen's first picture book in the US was China Doll, by Elza Pilgrim.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    Life lesson.

    A timeless book that teaches and reminds us that we can all learn from life experiences.

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