My Friends of the Forest

by Rosalind Hardison
Trafford Publishing

"There are several seasons that we go through in life."

When legendary artist Georgia O'Keeffe filled her canvases with enlarged images from nature, whether a flower, leaf, or delicate shell, she did it "to make people notice the little things." In My Friends of the Forest, Rosalind Hardison takes the same approach in sharing eleven stories that focus on various aspects of the natural world. These include many of the smaller, seemingly insignificant elements that ultimately prove their importance on this earth. With a rabbit named Whiskers, and Mr. Hermit the bug, to whispering flowers and gusting winds, from mighty oaks to nesting birds, the author gives a voice to the flora and fauna in each tale, while offering a continuing theme about changing seasons, nature's adaptations, and wise words from these characters that Hardison brings to life. We hear chattering squirrels concerned with predators, and "Earthy" the worm, who while trying to escape the path of a lawnmower gets re-located by a well-meaning couple. Summer flowers worry about their fading petals, and an elder tree shares his sage advice about the "GREAT FALL.".

Accompanying illustrations by Billy L. Hardison are witty and whimsical. Expressive features lend an anthropomorphic quality to key characters. From the charm of the pixie-faced leaf to the forlorn eyes of the little raindrop, and the captured solace of the weeping willow, the pastel-colored renderings prove a delightful enhancement to the narrative. The book's underlying messages are about positive change, growth, and renewal. A hint of Biblical thought is also reflected in phrases of "life everlasting," and the gift of new beginnings from our Creator. This is a sweet collection of children's stories, both imaginative and entertaining.

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