By: Audrey Penn
Illustrated by: Barbara L. Gibson
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Publication Date: July 2011
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: September 29, 2011
It is always so wonderful for readers, parents, children, librarians, and educators, when they see the fact that children’s books are STILL a wonderment in the making. There are authors and illustrators who STILL combine their forces to create imagination, beauty and happiness that ‘draws’ children in to the power of books (instead of the power of text messaging, or something equally as silly).
Chester Raccoon is a character that all children will relate to. Why? Because this is a story that focuses on an issue every child (not to mention every adult) suffers from every once in a while. Chester is a young raccoon who simply wants to take a nap, but because of his glorious and unending imagination, he sees the bright spot of sunlight coming through the hole in his tree as a ‘wicked’ thing. In that sun - as it moves throughout the daytime - Chester sees crocodiles, bears, and more in the shadows that the sun makes across the floor. Not to mention - the sun DOES move! Which means the bright spot seems to be following Chester at times, just waiting to ‘get him.’
Who is the savior? Who is the person who you love most in your heart that will come and conquer those crocodiles and make you feel better? Exactly! As all readers know, that person is the valiant parent who gives you that ultimate hug and kiss and makes all the bad creatures go away.
This book teaches imagination and beauty; finding the fantastical in the shadows. AND it is one of those incredible stories that teaches the love of a family and how love and peace can make all the ‘bad stuff’ disappear!
Quill Says: A great read with precious illustrations!