A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk

A Forest of Poems

Illustrated by Joan Rankin
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About The Book

In a watery mirror
the rugged raccoon
admires his face
by the light of the moon:
the mysterious mask,
the whiskers beneath,
the sliver of cricket
still stuck in his teeth.

Take a lighthearted romp through four seasons in the forest with these whimsical poems. Marvel at the overachieving beaver, applaud the race-winning snail and its perfect trail of slime, or head off to be pampered at a squirrel spa.

Warning: Deborah Ruddell's quirky cast of animal characters and Joan Rankin's deliciously daffy pictures will cause giggles. The woods have never been so much fun!

About The Author

Photograph © Brian Ruddell

Deborah Ruddell is the author of the celebrated picture books Who Said Coo?, illustrated by Robin Luebs, and A Whiff of Pine, A Hint of Skunk and Today at the Bluebird Cafe, both illustrated by Joan Rankin. Before writing children’s books, she was an art teacher and a graphic designer.  Deborah lives in Peoria, Illinois. Visit her at DeborahRuddell.com.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (March 2009)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781416942115
  • Grades: P - 3
  • Ages: 4 - 8

Raves and Reviews

"Twenty-three evocative poems about forest animals, beautifully illustrated. Literary variety serves this collection well, with many differenct lengths, rhyme schemes and moods...An excellent collection with broad age appeal." -- Kirkus, Starred Review

"The happy result is a lively and inviting collection that invites both examination of poetry and examination of habitat; the vivacious verses are suitable for reading aloud or alone, inside or outside..." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Starred Review

"Once again, the poems and artwork create whimsical scenarios that will amuse kids even as they subtly incorporate basic zoological facts...Both lighthearted and substantive, this is a good choice for cross-curricular sharing." -- Booklist

Awards and Honors

  • School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
  • ALA Notable Children's Books
  • ILA Teachers' Choices
  • Bulletin Blue Ribbon
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children's Book Council)
  • South Carolina Book Award Nominee
  • Keystone to Reading Book Award Master List (PA)
  • Bank Street Best Books of the Year
  • Utah Beehive Award Master List
  • NCTE Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts
  • Volunteer State Book Award Master List (TN)

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: Deborah Ruddell