No Nibbling! (Beth Ferry)

Hello, friends! Our book today is No Nibbling!, written by Beth Ferry and illustrated by A.N. Kang, a tale of unlikely friendship and delicious vegetables.

Derwood the goat is eager for the spring planting of his garden, and spends a warm day digging, seeding, planting, and watering – now to wait. Yet Derwood notices something: the fluffy puff of a dandelion, which sends him into a frenzy of pest- and weed-prevention. The dandelion puff, however, turns out to be the tail of a young bunny, Tabitha, who cheerfully introduces herself and inquires about his crop. Derwood tells her to take a hike, and when she returns to drop hints on the appeal of his growing veggie garden, he repeatedly warns her, “No Nibbling!” Tabitha persists in her overtures of friendship (and compliments of his crop), one day offering to weed the garden so that Derwood can rest. But will the old goat trust the hungry bunny with his precious patch?

Cute. A tale of reluctant friendship between an old goat (here, literally) and a precocious youngster is a pretty classic theme, and Ferry puts a pleasing veggie/gardening spin on it here. Derwood’s turnabout on his opinion of Tabitha feels a little abrupt, but the little bunny is so endearingly sweet that it’s still understandable. A plethora of plant- and vegetable-related puns are worked into the text to great comedic effect, though some may fly over younger readers’ heads (“Romaine calm,” for example). Kang’s delightful illustrations capture the colors and spirit of spring, two very cute characters, and some delicious-looking veggies. The length was great for a storytime, and we enjoyed it overall. Worth a read, and Baby Bookworm approved!

(A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

The Scarecrow (Beth Ferry)

Hello, friends! Our book today is The Scarecrow, written by Beth Ferry and illustrated by The Fan Brothers, a heartwarming tale of friendship and family.

A lone scarecrow stands in a field, posted upright in the ground. His presence does its job; deer, foxes, fieldmice and crows (naturally) keep their distance from his ever-vigilant watch. However, this leaves scarecrow rather lonely – with no one to come near, there’s no one to make friends with. That is until the day something small and fluffy falls – plop! – to the ground. A hatchling crow lies helplessly on the cold ground and, moved to kindness, the scarecrow breaks his pole to bend down and care for the baby. As the two become close friends, Scarecrow watches as the baby bird grows into a crow, and realizes that his friend will someday have the power to fly away and leave him. Heartbroken but wanting to be supportive, he encourages the crow, until the fateful day arrives. Watching his friend fly off into the distance, the scarecrow sags, now lacking both his pole and his friendship to keep him upright. All through fall, winter, and spring, the scarecrow wallows in his loneliness – until a familiar face reappears to usher in a new chapter of friendship and gratitude.

Magical. This incredibly beautiful tale is a perfect blend of the gently flowing, emotionally evocative rhyming text and the Fan Brothers’ stunning illustrations. The meticulously detailed yet dreamy scenes that are the Fans’ trademark work perfectly in this classic tale of kindness, especially in Scarecrow’s endearing facial expressions and how the change of seasons reflect his emotional state. Ferry’s gentle, powerful rhymes tell a timeless story in a succinct yet poetic style, and the ending is so pitch perfect that it may bring a tear to your eye. Lastly, the metaphors of sacrifice, trust, generosity, and family are beautifully interwoven. This has all the makings of a new fall classic, and one that can fortunately be enjoyed year-round. The length was great, and JJ and I both adored it. A wonderfully special book to share with the people you love, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Stick And Stone (Beth Ferry & Tom Lichtenheld)

Hello, everyone! Today, we read Stick And Stone by Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld, a positively charming book about best friends.

Stick and Stone are alone. Then one day, Stick sticks up for Stone when Pinecone teases him, and the two become fast friends. While the two are hanging out at the beach, a hurricane comes through and blows Stick away! Will Stone be able to find and help his friend the way that Stick helped him?

This was an incredibly sweet and delightful story. The rhymes are fun to read, and the length is great, but we liked the message about friendship and loyalty the best. The illustrations are just adorable, too. We loved this one! Baby Bookworm approved!