Circle of Thanks

Circle of Thanks

by Susi Gregg Fowler, Peter Catalanotto
     
 

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An Alaskan boy and his mother walk through the slushy tundra. When an otter pup slides into the icy river, the boys mother rushes in to rescue her. This selfless act prompts a chain reaction of rescues from other animals, including Raven, Mother Caribou, and Arctic Fox.  See more details below

Overview

An Alaskan boy and his mother walk through the slushy tundra. When an otter pup slides into the icy river, the boys mother rushes in to rescue her. This selfless act prompts a chain reaction of rescues from other animals, including Raven, Mother Caribou, and Arctic Fox.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The drama and interconnectedness of the natural world swirl through this luminous picture book set on the Alaskan tundra. An unnamed boy and his mother venture into the spring sunshine, gorgeously depicted as bands of color in Catalanotto's (The Painter) striking watercolors. When Mama rescues an otter pup that has fallen into icy water, the otter seemingly responds by later performing a good deed for an injured raven. Thus, a chain of kind acts is set in motion, from animal to animal, throughout each season of the year. In the end, an arctic fox plays a role when the boy injures himself and cannot get home as a snowstorm approaches. In evocative language, Fowler (I'll See You When the Moon Is Full) introduces a somewhat exotic, isolated region of wide-open spaces, where humans are completely in tune with and responsive to nature; a gentle humor keeps the tone from being earnest or precious. She also effectively relays bits of information about the wildlife and flora indigenous to Alaska as well as basic animal behavior. Catalanotto's delicately lit art fluidly renders the beauty of a rugged wilderness in both summer bloom and winter snow. Thanks to imaginative perspectives, the interactions between his animals seem spontaneous and dynamic. Ages 4-7. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Donna Freedman
Fowler's tale of cooperation in nature is a quiet, lovely read, but perhaps a little misleading to impressionable kids. It's highly unlikely that an otter pup would feed a raven, or that a caribou would free a fox from a trap, or that the fox would guide a human mother to her missing child. It makes a nice story, but be sure to tell your children it's ONLY a story. The real Alaska tundra ain't no Disney paradise. Other than that, Fowler resists anthropomorphizing the critters; each lives in its own place in this harsh but beautiful land. Catalanotto's watercolors are rich and warm; he has a particularly nice touch with varying shades of Alaska skies.
Kirkus Reviews
Fowler (Albertina the Practically Perfect, p. 1284, etc.) creates gentle and moving affirmation of the universal ties that unite all who inhabit Earth. A young boy and his mother live on the Alaskan tundra. During a spring hike to see River Otter, the boy's mother rescues a pup from treacherous waters. The pup "doesn't say thank you, but Mama doesn't mind. What can you expect from an otter pup?" This beneficent act generates a spirit of good will that extends across the four seasons and the animal kingdom. The otter pup performs a kind act for Raven; Raven saves Caribou Calf; the calf's mother rescues Arctic Fox from a trap. The cycle of good will is complete when the fox leads Mama to her injured son during an evening snowfall. For those who don't mind the anthropomorphisms, the lyrical text has a timeless quality to it, resembling a legend handed down through the generations. Catalanotto's watercolors of the northern landscape provide an evocative setting for the creatures that inhabit the story. (Picture book. 4-7) .

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780590100694
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/2001
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.05(w) x 10.04(h) x 0.13(d)
Lexile:
470L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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