Prather’s Pick: A Book about a different kind of school
Attention: This week’s column begins with a message for readers who might be interested in joining a writers group. You might be a published writer, you might be nearing the completion of a manuscript, or you might be thinking about writing. It doesn’t matter! If you would like to learn more about a just-getting-started writers group, call Liane Davis-Kling at 970-824-5343 or come to Downtown Books at 2 p.m. this Saturday.
Writing can be a lonely process so for a while now some of us have talked about getting a writers group started. Now, finally we’re trying to do something about it. I hope to see you on Saturday.
Now to this week’s book. Please don’t think I’m crazy. I know that it’s not Groundhog Day. However, I found this week’s cute and educational picture book for children, and if I don’t review it now I’ll probably forget come February. Besides that, the book is all about a school, even though it would have been in session for a while now.
“Groundhog Weather School” was written by Jean Holub and illustrated by Kristin Sorra. The story begins on Feb. 2. Rabbit is dressed in his pajamas and covered up with a blanket as he watches television. Weather Groundhog is giving the Groundhog Day forecast. Where he lives the grass is green, and a red bird is perched in a tree full of leaves. Weather Groundhog says she doesn’t see his shadow so it’s spring.
Boy, Rabbit is happy! He puts on his flower-print, short-sleeved shirt and flip-flops. He’s ready to play out in he sun.
However, when Rabbit peeks out of his burrow all he sees is snow, and it’s still snowing. Rabbit hops out of the burrow. He’s a sight standing there in the snow in his flip-flops and colored glasses.
Rabbit writes a letter to Weather Groundhog. He suggests that the groundhog is too far away to predict the weather everywhere. Maybe he needs help.
Now Weather Groundhog thinks that Rabbit has a point. That’s how the Groundhog Weather School gets started.
All applicants have to take a quiz with questions such as “Are you a Mammal?” to “Do You Hibernate?” If the applicant can check all six boxes, he or she can attend Groundhog Weather School.
Applicants include a pig, monkey, porcupine and groundhogs. Nine students enroll in school. That includes a skunk who says he’s a foreign exchange student.
During school students say a pledge, take tests, do research projects, study information about nature’s weather predictors and human weathermen, learn how to build a burrow, participate in a skit about the reason for the seasons, and finally take the big test, a multiple-choice quiz, which even Skunk passes. And the book’s reader learns about lots of weather-related stuff throughout the story.
The end pages of the book are a blueprint for building a groundhog burrow. The plans have the Burrow Inspector’s Seal of Approval.
Will Rabbit get a more accurate weather forecast the next Feb. 2? There’s a little twist at the end.
This fun book is published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons (2009) and costs about $16.99. You can also find it at the Craig branch of the Moffat County Libraries.
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