Be that as it may, perhaps the beginning of February needs an excuse for a happy, snuggly read with a Groundhog’s Day snack…
Cinnamon toast and cocoa are the treat of choice for Brownie Groundhog and her friend Fox in this charming story:
Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox, by Susan Blackaby, illustrated by Carmen Segovia published in 2011 by Sterling Publishing Inc.
It’s February 2, the most important day of the year for a groundhog. Brownie shimmies up her tunnel to find out how many more weeks she’s got to wait for the delicious warmth of Spring.
Phooey. Her shadow stretches out, long and blue on the snow. Six more weeks to go. Brownie is not keen on waiting.
Neither, for that matter is Fox, who is quite impatient to have a morsel of groundhog for a tasty breakfast. It’s all Brownie can do to outsmart the fox and coax him into waiting until the proper time to eat her. Which is never, of course!
Eventually the day turns around with a cheery Groundhog Day picnic in the snowy woods (with that cinnamon toast and cocoa) and some surprising signs that Spring may not be so long in coming after all.
Completely charming. Segovia’s vivid artwork with those foxy-reds and winter-sky-blues really pops against the textured snowy white of the pages. The handlettered text adds a cozy, homespun quality.
If you like this one, you’ll love revisiting the crew in another story, Brownie Groundhog and the Wintry Surprise. Irresistable, for ages 3 and up.
Now pour up another round of hot chocolate for this classic Crockett Johnson tale, almost 60 years old, and republished this year:
Will Spring be Early? Or Will Spring be Late? written and illustrated by Crockett Johnson first published in 1959; revised edition published in 2016 by Harper
Groundhog pops out of his snowy den to discover that he cannot see his shadow. That means he gets to spread good news — news that everyone wants to hear — that spring will be early.
As he trots off, he spies, quite unexpectedly, a brilliant red flower blooming in the snow! Goodness gracious! His prediction is certainly right! Not only will Spring be early — it’s already here! What a relief to know this beyond a shadow of a doubt!
Happiness ripples through the forest. All the animals gush over the heroic Groundhog and his crimson signal of Spring…until grouchy ol’ Pig arrives on the scene and with one chomp, brings an end to their glee.
The story, though, does not end so unhappily for poor Groundhog. Discover the amusing response of his pals when you read this vintage charmer with children ages 2 and up.