May 2016

A Magical Winter

By Carl R. Sams II, illustrated by Jean Stoick
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The Michigan backyard of wildlife photographers Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick appears to be a busy place, full of deer, doves, turkeys and squirrels. Best known for their 1999 picture book, Stranger in the Woods, the husband-and-wife team transforms their stunning nature photography into beloved children’s books by imagining the sweet, funny dialogue between different woodland creatures.

In their latest book, A Magical Winter, the forest animals anticipate the arrival of another stranger. Against a backdrop of freshly fallen snow, the animals squabble over the mysterious creature until it finally arrives: an all-white, blue-eyed deer that appears to be made of snow. But Mother Doe kindly lets everyone know there’s no reason to worry: “He’s one of my three fawns. He is not made of snow . . . he is not going to melt.” When a white turkey also appears, the animals wonder if their woods are enchanted, which is a good reason to celebrate. They parade and party until spring; after all, parties are more fun when everyone is accepted, regardless of physical differences.

Children will love discovering the magic of this backyard, while dreaming up stories for their own.


This article was originally published in the May 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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A Magical Winter

A Magical Winter

By Carl R. Sams II, illustrated by Jean Stoick
Carl R. Sams II Photography
ISBN 9780982762585

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