I was pleased to read a new book in the Forest Friends series by Hara and Takahashi. This story features a new character to the series, a girl named Yuka. She loves for her mother to read to her from her favorite book of fairy tales, but once her new baby brother is born her mother is often too busy to read. Yuka takes her book and reads to herself in a wooded area near her home. Slowly the woodland creatures all come to enjoy the stories and even receive some inspiration on how to solve a problem by imitating the characters in one of the stories.
Older readers will guess what the problem is, even though the animals do not mention it to Yuka, and they will be pleased with the end result. It shows how literature may sometimes inspire solutions to real life problems. The book also shows how familiar stories may comfort a child when there are changes at home or a parent is too busy for quiet time together. Yuka even improves her reading so much that the teacher comments on it.
Even though winter comes and Yuka may no longer visit her woodland friends, she plans ahead for when they will be together in the spring - a good example of being patient. Yuka's older brother Kenta is not very kind to her, but she is determined to be good big sister to the new baby. She plans to read to him in the spring, too.
This would be a great story to read to a child who has their own favorite books and will appreciate Yuka's love of her fairy tales. It is also a good book for a child dealing with a new baby in the family; it will help them see that parents will not always be too busy for special time with them.
I read a review copy provided by the publisher.