McDuff chases a rabbit away from home, and his barks help a Mrs. Higgins bring him back.
McDuff is a "Westie" terrier who becomes lost chasing a rabbit. He ends up in the garden of a Mrs. Higgins. She puts him in her motorcycle sidecar, to go to the police station. On the, he sees and smells familiar things. Responding to his barks Mrs. Higgins finds his home. Both are happily treated to apple pie and sandwiches. The illustrations are well done, but the story is a merely a cute enumeration of events.
Baby Bear's Mum satisfies his 'before bed' needs so he can sleep/hibernate.
Baby Bear cannot settle into hibernation. Mother Bear has to get him a snack, a drink (water dripped from a branch) and the moon they used to sleep under! The solution to the latter problem is smart. At last, Baby Bear asks for (not another thing!) a good night kiss (that's nice) and they both fall asleep. Overall the story is uninspiring, and VM suggests children could fall asleep with better 'visions'.
Cats fascinate because, to us, their behaviors exude character.
Perhaps a cat lover's delight, each page identifies a cat behavior using memorable superlatives: Nobody's... nozier, dozier, trickier, lickier, prowlier, growlier, naughtier, haughtier, etc. There is language value in the presentation, and some may like the flattened perspective of the highly stylized art work. There is no story.
Nasty and rich, three farmers fanatically pursue a thieving fox as it escalates its thievery to benefit its family and community.
First, we meet three poultry farmers whose bad character lies only in their wealth and distasteful habits. Mr. Fox, the caring 'little guy', feeds his family by stealing from the farmers. Incensed, they resolve to kill the fox at all costs. Lying in wait at the fox den fails. Shovels fail. Steam-shovels arrive. Tension rises. Will the foxes always dig farther? This entertaining story may be useful for parents to show their children the nature of immorality.
Mouseling Angelina's focus on dance helps her be more responsible and, ultimately, a ballet star.
Angelina skips and dances wherever she goes, with little regard for her other chores and good behavior. Finally, when enrolled in ballet class, she settles down, does her chores and trains. We are then just told that she trains for years and becomes famous. Though it is a happy ending, the implicit message seems to be that parents should just give in to a child's dream and the child will ''transform'.
With prejudice, Moonbear and Bird want a pet to grow into their own kind, but when it becomes a frog they realize they were wrong.
Bear's new pet 'Splash' seems to be a fish, until she sprouts limbs. In 'racist' disagreement, Bear and Bird expect her to become their own kind. Their friendship dissolves, so Splash is returned to her pond. Later, Splash proves to be a frog, who suggests everyone should just be friends. And so, they are. Bear and Bird's (contrived) behavior is foreign to the audience age group. Further, Asch presents friendship as an empty platitude.
Spider resists the calls of various, too crudely illustrated, animals to play, as we see her build her web to eat a fly.
As the little spider builds her web, various farm animals ask her to join in their play, but she resists. The spider's productive effort is rewarded when she catches a fly. Unfortunately this popular story is undermined by overly crude images aimed at children who are still learning what the animals really look like.
"Olly" is a cat that sees a few opposites as he explores his neighborhood, and seems to have two homes; fin.
"Olly" explores his neighborhood, experiencing opposites: hot places & cold, soft spots and hard, fast dogs & slow, noisy areas and quiet, open windows and closed. He finds the messy Tubbs' home and is welcomed, and he finds the tidy Pyke's home and is welcomed. And so the story continues, ending only with a mystery. Where does he spend the night? This is a witty way to present opposites to children but there is no reward, no pleasure, in the story's conclusion.
As a kitten, Stella seems to dance, but the behavior dwindles with age until it is revived in her six kittens.
Stella's Dancing Days equates the frisky vitality of a kitten with dancing. We see the kitten adjust to a new family, and mature into a cat. After a time hiding under the bed of the Gentle One (the daughter) Stella emerges with six kittens, and they dance! The story is a purposeless sequence of events about something cute. There is no theme, and the story's atmosphere, meaningful to adults, is not enough to justify the book for children.
The animals of Redwall abbey joyously prepare a surprise feast for their abbot, a wise old mouse.
As the abbey animals are preparing a surprise feast for their beloved abbot, he conveniently leaves on a 'quest' –his afternoon stroll. Jacques's descriptions of the preparations, the stroll and the feast, in 101 six line stanzas, are quite marvelous. Unfortunately the sometimes quirky animal characters have no purpose, save as fantasy cooks and imaginary denizens of the abbey. Denise's appealing illustrations, reminiscent of Beatrix Potter, cannot resuscitate this ultimately dull story.