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Late one day I hurried home,
Stepping through the wood alone.
It was deep and dim; I could barely see.
But I thought brave thoughts to comfort me.
A Young Skunk heads home through the woods—alone. Or maybe not...
Could there be robbers, or pirates, or ghosts, or trappers in the woods? And is our hero brave enough to keep away?
With bouncy rhymes, charming art, a subtle counting theme, and a surprise ending, this story will entertain and reassure any child who’s ever been afraid.
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Shutta Crum knows what it’s like to be brave while being really scared. She lives on a farm in Ann Arbor, MI, where she sometimes sees skunks.
Tim Bowers has illustrated numerous children’s books, including the popular Little Whistle series. He lives in Granville, OH.
PreSchool-Grade 1–Walking quickly and thinking "brave thoughts," a young skunk makes its way home through a dimly lit forest and is startled by different woodland creatures. The rhyming story turns out to be a counting book, starting with "1 masked face" (a raccoon hiding in the shadows) and ending with "10 stars [that] twinkle while I sleep." After being frightened by ghosts (owls), trappers (spiders), witches (porcupines), and pirates (flying squirrels), the skunk sees "6 strong arms" and gets ready to raise its tail in self-defense, but soon realizes that the limbs belong to family members. Now safe, the traveler relates the tale to an appreciative audience of animals. Bowers creates a pleasant-looking protagonist with a fluffy crown of white fur and a lush white tail. The woods are filled with velvet greens and chocolate browns, reassuring colors that show youngsters that the landscape might be dark, but certainly isn't scary. Pair this story with Lauren Thompson's Little Quack's Bedtime (S & S, 2005) for some tranquil sleepy-time fun.–Lisa Gangemi Kropp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY
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