Mr. Badger and Mrs. Fox #4: Peace and Quiet
Written by Brigitte Luciani
Illustrated by Eve Thartlet
Beautiful artwork and a touching story make this short graphic novel a winner for second graders. Mr. Badger and Mrs. Fox, in their fourth book, prepare for winter. They gather dried branches to protect the burrow entrance and provide bedding. The badger children react like badgers, eating everything in sight to fatten up and sleeping longer and longer periods of time. The badgers explain that they don’t really hibernate, though. One badger, Grub, stays out too long and ends up sleeping for a three-day stretch. Ginger, the fox child, enjoys the colder weather and learning about hunting. She offers to give the badgers hunting lessons. With added humor, Ginger slides down a snow-covered hill. They also engage several human activities. They build a board game and play it together. Snowballs fly and the kids build snow-badgers later in the book. Because the fox is more active than the badgers, a bit of conflict ensues. They solve the problem by providing a closing bedroom door for Grub. The carving on the door reads “Do Not Disturb.”
During the autumn rains, the illustrator makes the reader believe it’s raining. The snow looks real as can be. The burrow looks cozy and warm and protected by the dried branches. The characters are especially appealing and expressive.
The lively action and gentle humor evident in the drawings should increase the reader’s comprehension of the mostly-spoken words. In the tradition of Lerner Publishing, teachers and parents will find a myriad of aids for reading activities at the publisher’s website (www.lernerbooks.com).