today’s children storybook summary is
By Jenni Desmond
The takeaway: There are no big hairy monsters under the bed, or in the closet, or up high and down below…just creatures you haven’t meet yet, and things you are still to find out about. That’s all there is! And once you realize what made you afraid, you’ll see you had the wrong idea altogether. This is a book about being scared of (nonexistent) monsters.
Albert, the brown bear, is just coming out of hibernation. It is spring, and he runs in the forest to hang out in his favorite tree. Once there, on the branch he always used to rest, he hears a noise: it looks like the tree was crying.
The bear gets down and sniffs around trying to figure out what’s wrong with the tree. He can’t see the reason. Rabbit stops by and offers advice. When he feels sad, rabbit says, digging holes in the ground makes him feel better. Soon, Albert, the bear, helps rabbit to dig holes around the tree. But to no good. The tree keeps crying, a little lauder then before.
Next, a caribou comes along and he, too, offers advice. When I’m scared, he says, I eat grass. Now, everybody’s staking grass around the trunk of the tree. But it doesn’t help. Worse, the crying gets lauder and lauder.
Rabbit and caribou couldn’t stand the wailing. Complaining about the noise, they decide to leave.
Now, Albert is alone in the woods. He asks to stop crying, but to no result. Then he gets an idea. The bear climbs in the tree, up high, and gives him a hug, softly begging the tree to tell him what’s wrong. To his surprise, a little voice responds: I am scared of the big hairy monster says the tree. After looking carefully all over, Albert says that there are no monsters around. It is just him. Then, from a hollow in the tree, out comes a little owl. After the first surprise, they both realized that there was a big confusion. Owl mistook Albert for a big, hairy monster and was scared, and the bear mistook the cry as coming from the tree.
Having solved the mystery of the crying tree, and perhaps with a new friend around, Albert curled on his favorite branch and took a nap.
Albert, a brown bear who has a favorite branch on a favorite tree; a white rabbit who digs holes when he’s sad; a caribou that eats grass as cure for anxiety, and an owl who is afraid of a big hairy monster and lives in a tree.
The Author, Jenni Desmond, is also the illustrator of this book. She captures the story with big and bold paintings of the forest and its animals. The colors, mainly brawn, green and white, are strong and lovely. The detailing is minimalist, though the story doesn’t suffer. The illustration is at its best when it fills the pages but sometimes it is scattered among chunks of text.
Recommended Age: 3 to 7
Reading Time: 4 minutes
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