Tom is a clever fellow. He entertains himself and his outdoor animal friends by building amusing structures for them in the back yard, and training them to play games and perform circus acts. Tom wants very much for his father to share in the excitement, but there’s just one small problem ~ for some inexplicable reason, he’s afraid of animals, even butterflies!
Aside from his seemingly irrational fears, Tom’s father has plenty of talents of his own (and it’s easy to see that Tom’s apple did not fall far from the tree). Inside the house, he has created an enormous, multi-tiered model town full of trains, houses, windmills, a river, and, yes ~ even animals! But he simply can‘t bring himself to venture out of doors.
Determined to find a solution to this problem, Tom heads into town and begins to collect an assortment of creatures from the “Paws, Claws, Beaks and Bugs” Pet Store. He convinces all of them to participate in a ruse that will bring his father out of his shell and allow the two of them to fully enjoy Tom’s imaginative adventures together.
The charming pen, ink, and watercolor illustrations, rich with details, and many of them executed in lovely pastel colors, set a soothing and almost dreamlike atmosphere for the story. There is whimsy as well ~ a polar bear plays the role of an easy chair and an octopus that of a chandelier. Tom’s resourcefulness is eventually rewarded, and his father realizes it’s safe to join his son in the great outdoors. They both win the joy of each other’s company, and there’s no better prize than that! Find this book in our eCatalog. Guest post by Bridget W.