________________ CM . . . . Volume VI Number 16 . . . . April 14, 2000

cover Kit: The Adventures of a Raccoon.

Shirley Woods. Illustrated by Celia Godkin.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood/Douglas & McIntyre Children's Books, 1999.
92 pp., pbk. & cloth, $7.95 (pbk.), $18.95 (cl.).
ISBN 0-88899-376-5 (pbk), ISBN 0-88899-375-7 (cl.).

Subject Headings:
Raccoons-Juvenile fiction.
Mothers and sons-Juvenile fiction.
Nature-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.
Review by Carol McDougall.

*** /4


While her little ones slept, she weighed the problem. Finally, she made up her mind. Picking up Kit, she gripped him with her teeth by the scruff of the neck. Protected by loose fur, Kit hung limply, still half asleep. With one paw steadying her baby, the mother raccoon climbed to the opening in the tree. Carefully she eased herself over the lip of the den and climbed down. At the base of the tree she paused for a moment to check for danger. With Kit dangling from her claws, she trotted along the edge of the pond and headed up the feeder stream. Her destination was a special old elm tree.
image Kit is born in a hollow maple tree and spends his early days cuddled with his two sisters close to his mother's milk and warmth. When the young racoons are old enough to leave the den, they have much to learn. With patience and persistence, their mother teaches them all the skills they need to survive. Many of these skills are learned through play, but, when Kit goes out into the world, he finds these lessons crucial in keeping abreast of predators of the human and animal variety. Kit is live trapped after getting into a family's garbage and is chased by hounds through a cornfield. Eventually Kit finds a mate and starts a family of his own.

Shirley Woods, the author of Black Nell, The Adventures of a Coyote, has crafted an exciting adventure story that will both delight and inform. Meticulously researched with the approval of natural history experts, this tale will teach young readers much about the lives of racoons. The black and white drawings by Celia Godkin are exquisite.

Kit is a wonderful book for the emerging reader, or as a read-aloud to younger children eager to learn more about this familiar and intriguing animal.


Carol McDougall worked for many years in Children's and Young Adult Services with the Toronto Public Library and was the librarian for the Canadian Children's Book Centre. She is presently the Atlantic Liaison Officer for the Canadian Children's Book Centre in Halifax, NS.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364