Two Days in May

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Based on a real-life incident that occurred several years ago in Chicago, Taylor tells the story of a city girl who discovers five deer grazing in the small garden behind her apartment building, and how the deer are brought back to safety in the wild.

A group of neighbors join together to help five deer who have wandered into the city in search of food.

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Based on a real-life incident that occurred several years ago in Chicago, Taylor tells the story of a city girl who discovers five deer grazing in the small garden behind her apartment building, and how the deer are brought back to safety in the wild.

A group of neighbors join together to help five deer who have wandered into the city in search of food.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Based on an incident that occurred several years ago in Chicago, Taylor's (Ulaq and the Northern Lights) workmanlike story begins when a city girl discovers five deer grazing on lettuce she has planted behind her apartment building. The deer remain calm as a multiracial group of neighbors gathers around them. When an animal control officer is called, he explains that the law requires him to shoot the deer; the crowd decides to stage a "peaceful protest" and surrounds the creatures until a wildlife rescue organization can be reached. The first-person narrative often sounds flat: "We got to know one another better, and we learned more about the deer," Sonia says as neighbors swap facts and observations. Torres's (Subway Sparrows) pale, gently focused pictures set a warm mood and convey the gradually strengthening bond among the deer's protectors, but her compositions are often static. Energy is missing from both text and art--the characters' amazement at the presence of the deer never transfers itself to readers. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Trina Heidt
Based on a real incident (Chicago 1996), Harriet Peck Taylor has recreated a heartwarming story involving a neighborhoods reaction to five displaced deer who have wandered into a new garden in the middle of a city. Unbelievable as it all is, the deer and the concern for them brings about unity as the neighbors work together to keep the animals safe until they can be saved and relocated by a humane animal rescue organization-city animal control is ordered to put the deer down. The people quietly and calmly form a human wall around the animals as protection-a peaceful sit-in/camp out. They assume that the animal control officer would never shoot the deer with so many people around. When the representative from the rescue group finally arrives the deer are tranquilized, taken away and released into the wilderness. The neighbors disband but come away with a better understanding and more positive feelings about each other. Though the story seems implausible, it can and does happen with increasing frequency. As the suburbs continue to take over wildlife habitat, animals become less and less afraid of people. This is an important story that will lead to needed discussion about the delicate relationship between humans and the other animals with whom they share the earth.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-A fictional account of a current urban problem with behavior by both people and animals that strains credibility. A young girl recounts the day in May when four deer wander into a city garden plot, lured by the crops growing there. As a group of neighbors gather to discuss the situation, they discover that the "animal control office" wants to send an officer in to shoot the deer. They stage a sit-in until a more humane group, the "wildlife rescue," can arrive and relocate the animals. Throughout this hubbub, these usually skittish creatures remain, seemingly unfazed by the happenings around them. The illustrations show a cityscape filled with apartment buildings and sidewalks where even the calmest deer would be spooked by traffic. And it seems unusual that this would happen in May when there is lots of growth and greenery around, rather than in January or February, when the forests are bare. Although there have been instances in the news of cities hiring experts to kill deer, these experts do their work at night, lying in wait for their prey. It seems unlikely that any city would call in sharpshooters to such a crowded, charged situation. Although the illustrations are well done and the characters are well portrayed, the message is marred by its delivery.-Jane Marino, Scarsdale Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Taylor's story of a deer family's unexpected appearance in an urban garden is hampered by its monotone delivery, but there is an easy imparting of information that ought to be in every child's environmental-awareness kit. Early one morning, young Sonia discovers five deer tucking into the greens growing in her city garden. While the neighbors come to gape, Sonia's dad and the building super decide to call the animal control officers to have the deer safely removed. Unfortunately, the animal control officer's policy is to exterminate the deer. The neighbors decide to peacefully protest this policy by gathering around the deer to protect them, while in the meantime alerting a wildlife rescue group. Most of the neighbors spend the night alongside the deer; the next morning, Carl, from the rescue group, arrives to sedate and cart away the deer (much to the relief of the animal control officer) to a safe haven. Sprinkled throughout the tale are such concepts as habitat loss, seasonal food needs, overpopulation, and other staples of eco-consciousness. Delicate watercolors emphasize the adorable over the wild, while also heightening the incongruity of the situation. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374379889
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 4/1/1999
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.55 (w) x 10.57 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Harriet Peck Taylor is the author/illustrator, most recently, of Ulaq and the Northern Lights. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Leyla Torres is the author/illustrator of Saturday Sancocho and other books. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2000

    A Few Comments from the Author

    This book recently received the 1999 Parent's Choice Award! Some of my reviewers seem to think that the story line for this book is not believable. This proves the saying that truth is stranger than fiction as the plot for this book is based on events that actually happened in Chicago in May 1996. I was so moved when I read the newspaper articles of this event that I decided to try and write a story about them and Two Days in May is the result. I hope this story causes us all to think about the impact that we have on the wild animals when we live in what used to be their habitat. I offer no real answers to this dilemma but perhaps awareness of this growing problem is a first step. Fans of my other books have been perplexed at the fact that this is the first book that I did not illustrate. This is a very urban story with lots of people, buildings,cars, and other city images. I view myself primarily as a nature artist and so did not feel that I would be the best person to illustrate it. I think Leyla Torres did a fantastic job though. I hope you do too and that you enjoy the book!

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