Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Night Noise and Mister Rabbit's Wish

3/14/10 If you're seeking a thought-provoking book for children, here's a brief look at a pair of books by Michigan authors. Each deals with the nighttime adventures of a variety of animals, with one being factual and the other fiction.

Night Noise by Morrice author and artist Brenda Roy (Author House, $13.99) is a nicely illustrated book for younger children that uses a large-eyed owl as the main character.

It focuses on the different types of creatures and critters that abound in Michigan and make their presence known at night.

This creative, brief, light-hearted foray is told using rhymes, making it that much more enjoyable for children.

The detailed black-and-white drawings of the animals contrast well against the owl's big, wide-open eyes and the darkness of the trees in the forest background.

The owl explores the nocturnal habits and behavior of a fox, a raccoon, a coyote, whitetail deer and mice. It also examines the noises that bats, crickets, frogs and others make when the sun is down.

This self-published paperback is available by e-mailing the author at krazikat@aol.com.

Mister Rabbit's Wish by Brighton author Colleen Monroe (Mitten Press $17.99) uses a nighttime trip by an aging rabbit to provide poignant and useful insights.

Illustrated by her husband, award-winning artist Michael Glenn Monroe, this fanciful tale showcases a journey made in the beginning of winter by Mister Rabbit.

This time a pair of squirrels, a fox, a skunk, a deer and a mouse, as well as a cardinal and a pheasant, join him on his long walk.

They're off to visit the Wishing Tree, which has the power to grant wishes. En route to their destination, they discuss their desires. One wants a bigger den, another wants a nice birdhouse, others seek more acorns or cheese.

The tree isn't exactly what they expected. After the others make their requests, he asks for the same thing he's asked for every year since he was a young bunny.

His request, spoken softly to the tree alone, is an unusual one. On the journey back, the other animals realize the Wishing Tree's wisdom and gain more respect for the insightful Mister Rabbit.

The wonderful illustrations add to the book's enjoyment.

Ray Walsh
This article also appeared in the
Lansing State Journal on March 14, 2010

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