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The Woods
     

The Woods

3.2 4
by Paul Hoppe
 

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Being afraid of the dark doesn't mean being afraid alone. When a boy can't find his favorite stuffed bunny, he bravely heads into the woods to look for it. Instead, he finds a big, scary brown bear! But the bear is just lonely, so the boy shares his night light and forges ahead with his new companion, until...they run into two frightening giants! As the boy continues

Overview

Being afraid of the dark doesn't mean being afraid alone. When a boy can't find his favorite stuffed bunny, he bravely heads into the woods to look for it. Instead, he finds a big, scary brown bear! But the bear is just lonely, so the boy shares his night light and forges ahead with his new companion, until...they run into two frightening giants! As the boy continues on, he comes across other seemingly menacing creatures, but finds that—like him—they're just looking for some comfort and security before bedtime. Simple text and classic European style meet a fresh, modern twist in this delightful picture book.

Editorial Reviews

Pamela Paul
What the story lacks in originality, Hoppe…makes up for with empathy and likability. There's a reason boys enjoy confronting big hairy monsters over and over again.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
"ast night, I couldn't find my bunny anywhere!" a pajama-clad boy tells readers, looking out at them from under the covers. "There was only one place left to look." The page turns: "I had to go into the woods." Armed with his nightlight, a sword, and a helmet (his wastebasket), he meets a "BIG, SCARY BROWN BEAR" ("But the bear was just afraid of the dark. So I shared my night-light with him"), "TWO SCARY GIANTS" ("But the giants were just bored. So I shared my bedtime story with them"), and other intimidating creatures, which he befriends before getting his bunny back. In Hoppe's (Hat) jewel-colored pen-and-watercolor spreads, the monsters leer, gawp, and taunt, giving the boy a scare (readers, too, probably), though he always recovers gracefully. The creatures are eventually revealed to be the boy's own stuffed animals, seen scattered on his bedroom floor. Between the lines, Hoppe delivers some wisdom about the vulnerability inside every bully, and his witty artwork (the bear wears a blingy necklace that says "Honey") underscores the welcome bedtime message that there's nothing to be afraid of. Ages 4–8. (June)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Pen and soft-hued watercolor illustrations admirably relate the tale of a young boy settling down to sleep. His evening routine is disrupted when he goes to hug his toy bunny but it is nowhere to be found. The child decides there is only one place it might be: the Woods. So, armed with a cape, a sword, a bucket on his head, his book, and a nightlight hung around his neck, the child ventures forth to find his stuffed animal. On his quest, he meets a bear, two pirates, a three-headed dragon, etc., but, though afraid at first, he soon discovers that the various characters aren't really frightening; they just need something the boy can share to appease them. The refrain "And we weren't afraid at all. Until… we ran into…" is repeated several times throughout the adventure, making this an entertaining selection. Readers looking for bedtime stories or tales involving sharing, bravery, or overcoming fear of the dark will be pleased with this endearing tale.—Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI
From the Publisher
"Paul Hoppe's "The Woods" sends its hero out among the trees to search for his lost bedtime bunny. The boy's bedroom quickly gives way, Sendak-style, to the Woods, where the boy confronts and overcomes a parade of scary things. He shares a night light with a fearsome and fearful bear; entertains twin giants with a goodnight story; and gives an achy three-headed dragon a hug.

What the story lacks in originality, Hoppe ("Hat," "Metal Man") makes up for with empathy and likability. There's a reason boys enjoy confronting big hairy monsters over and over again. " - The New York Times

"Readers looking for bedtime stories or tales involving sharing, bravery, or overcoming fear of the dark will be pleased with this endearing tale." - School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
When our imaginative young narrator discovers his bunny missing at bedtime, he must find him by setting off bravely into the woods. He declares that he is not afraid, until he runs into a scary brown bear. But the bear is just afraid of the dark, so he shares his night-light with him as they go deeper into the woods. The two scary giants they encounter are "just bored," so he shares his bedtime story with them. And so they all proceed into the woods, confronting a triple-headed dragon, who just needs a hug. When they come to a spooky, dark cave, they all march in together, to find a lonely monster holding the lost bunny. They agree to all go back together to share the bunny, "...and we were not afraid at all." This inventive adventure is visualized light-heartedly with black ink outlines and watercolors to perk up the double-page scenes with lavender dragon, green-garbed giants, brown tree trunks, and blue monster. Cartoon-y characters act out their parts with good-natured exaggeration as our helmeted, sword-bearing narrator leads them into the fresh adventures. We see the stuffed animal inspirations of the story all in bed together at the happy end. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews

The night light is on and the bedtime story firmly in the young narrator's grasp, but stuffed bunny is nowhere to be found! There's only one thing to do: He has to go into the woods, which are conveniently right next to his bedroom.

With a toy sword and a wastebasket serving as a helmet, he marches (in his pajamas) boldly ahead, right into the path of "a big, scary brown bear!" Luckily, the bear is scared of the dark too, so the boy shares his night light. The duo sets off into the deeper woods, where they meet two scary giants. These guys in green are just bored, so the boy shares his bedtime story with them. Off this quartet ventures, and comes upon a pink three-headed, fire-breathing dragon... And so on. The procession comes to a big scary dark cave and, holding hands, summon the courage to enter. Inside is a big, hairy, scary monster—holding a tiny red bunny! Mystery solved; the boy invites everyone back to his room, where a final illustration shows him smiling and clutching stuffed versions of all his banished fears. The refrain—"we weren't afraid at all. Until..."—sets a comfortable pattern, and the fuzzy watercolors on thick creamy stock enhance the coziness of the tale.

Hoppe's delightfully quirky monsters enhance this pleasant tonic for bedtime fears. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452105819
Publisher:
Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
05/27/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
44
File size:
5 MB
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Paul Hoppe is an award-winning illustrator whose work has appeared in various publications, including the New York Times and the New Yorker. Raised in Germany, he now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

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The Woods 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome - one of my three year-old's favorites. I have no idea what the one-star reviewer is talking about, unless s/he received a misprinted book.. The illustrations are fantastic. It's the right degree of spooky for a young child. It taught my kid to count to three :). Each page ends with "until..." at which point your child can guess/remember what spookiness comes next. Great book! (I only came to this page to see what other books Hoppe has written...)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The illustrations do not match the associated text - the illustrations are one page ahead of the referring text, ruining the 'surprise' nature of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*ambushes* harry styles from one direction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Woke with a startle and yawned, stretching. She shook her pelt of snowflakes and began to make her way back to camp, trying to not cry.