This second book in the series Stanley Park Tales comes from Canada and takes place in Vancouver. Sammy and Rodney leave the safety of their home in the park to brave the dangers of the big city, all for the sake of a friend. Judy Crow has been crow-napped, and Rodney and Sammy feel they must try to rescue her, no matter how unqualified they might feel for the task.
The animals in the story all have alliterative names, and each has his or her own special personality characteristics. Rodney is always hungry. Sammy is a reader and user of big words like “serendipity.” Judy Crow, who prefers to be called Judith Raven, is a bit uppity and proud, but as Sammy says, “No one’s perfect” and ‘Isn’t it important for an animal to stand up for a friend and do the right thing?” And so they do.
The drawings that illustrate this simple story of friendship are lovely, as you can see from the cover illustration. Illustrator Gordon Clover certainly deserves some of the credit for making this book work as a gentle tale of woodland wonder. It won’t be right for everyone; the pace and plot are not movie-style exciting. But for those children, and adults, who enjoy a slower pace, meandering through the woods rather than rushing breathlessly through non-stop adventures, Sammy Squirrel and Rodney Raccoon will be a welcome breath of fresh Canadian air.
*This book is nominated for a Cybils Award, and I am a judge for the first round thereof. However, no one paid me any money, and nobody knows which books will get to be finalists or which ones will get the awards. In other words, this review reflects my opinion and Z-baby’s and nothing else.