Children's LiteratureTen rather lengthy stories feature the adventures of Burgess's woodland creatures as they frolic in the Green Meadows, the Green Forest, and Farmer Brown's orchard. Each tale contains more than twenty short chapters and highlights a different character. Written in the late 1800s and early 1900s, these narratives have an old-fashioned feeling to them and convey lessons about human behavior. Granny Fox tries to teach young Reddy Fox the skills of survival, but sometimes his pride gets in the way of his behavior resulting in uncomfortable circumstances. Johnny Chuck wakes up one morning and decides to desert the hole he has always lived in. His new home in the orchard is not quite so safe. Peter Cottontail (no relation to Beatrice Potter's character, but bearing some resemblance to Brer Rabbit) scampers into danger and back into the Briar Patch just in time. The other animals with their own stories are Unc' Billy Possum, Mistah Mocker, Jerry Muskrat, Danny Meadow Mouse, Grandfather Frog, Chatterer the Red Squirrel, and Sammy Jay. News travels quickly due to the constant movement of the Merry Little Breezes, Ol' Mistah Buzzard, and Sammy Jay. Cady's original artwork contributes to the antiquated mood of the book. The relatively small, carefully detailed black and white illustrations depict animals wearing clothing and acting as humans. Grandparents may choose this cozy collection for bedtime reading. 2003, ISI Books/The National Review, Ages 6 to 10.
Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.