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“I need to stay down here. There are shadows all over the place up there,” Groundhog. –Groundhug Day
by Anne Marie Pace
AR Test, Picture Book
3 – 5
Moose is having a Valentine’s Day party, and all his friends are so excited! Everyone except Groundhog, that is. If Groundhog sees his shadow outside, he’ll hide in his hole for six more weeks and miss the party!
Determined to help their friend join them, Moose, Squirrel, Bunny, and Porcupine put their heads together and come up with a plan. But will it be enough to get Groundhog out to play?
When Groundhog comes out of his den and sees his shadow, his animal friends discover that Groundhog is afraid of shadows. In order to get Groundhog to come out, the animals show him all the different ways shadows are “awesome.” The animals show Groundhog how to use shadows to draw silhouettes and create puppet shows. Watching shadows dance is fun too. Despite this, Groundhog goes back into his hole for six more weeks. And when he finally pops out of his den and is ready for a St. Patrick’s Day party, Groundhog discovers that Bunny is “holed up this time of year” because he’s painting Easter eggs.
Young readers will relate to Groundhog’s fear of shadows and love all the ways the animals use shadows for entertainment. The story comes to life with super cute illustrations that are drawn in natural colors. Readers will giggle as each animal plots a way to get Groundhog out of his hole, especially because each scheme is drawn on a chalkboard. Plus, Groundhog is super cute and his clothing resembles an English gentleman. When he finally comes out for spring, he’s dressed for a Saint Patrick’s Day party!
Even though Groundhug Day is a picture book, the story is intended to be read aloud to a child, rather than for the child to read it for the first time independently. Readers may need help reading some of the text-heavy pages that have up to seven sentences per page. However, the adorable illustrations and the conversations between the animals make Groundhug Day entertaining enough for younger readers to enjoy.
Groundhug Day is a sweet story that will warm readers’ hearts and remind them that shadows are not scary. If you’re looking for another fun Valentine’s Day book, check out Splat the Cat: Funny Valentine by Rob Scotton.
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