Looking back on my childhood, I don't remember there being many books about Groundhog Day, or any for that matter. Groundhug Day, a new children's book from Disney Hyperion, fills that holiday vacancy, but also takes a queue from The Nightmare Before Christmas by combining it with an adjacent holiday, Valentine's Day. From Anne Marie Pace, author of the Vampirina book series that inspired the hit Disney Junior series, comes another delightful children's story.
Moose is planning a Valentine's Day party with the help of his friends rabbit, squirrel, and porcupine and the big day is just two weeks away. He wants everyone to be at his party, but is worried that groundhog won't come if he sees his shadow. The forest friends all try to show groundhog that shadows aren't anything to be feared. But when he still decided to retreat for the rest of winter, they are all saddened.
The lesson learned in Groundhug Day is about finding ways to compromise. Groundhog's friends want him to attend a party, but doing so would make him uncomfortable. Instead, he declares it "GroundHug Day," where he can show his friends that he cares about them and give hugs to all (except porcupine, for obvious reasons) as a way to celebrate a holiday he needs to sleep through.
The illustrations are provided by Christopher Denise, whose realistic colors perfectly reflect the drab end of winter. But the festive Valentine's decorations provide a fun contrast and his character designs are very charming. He's inserted a few jokes here and there for parents and kids to find and delight in during this fun read.
Groundhug Day is another winning children's story from Anne Marie Pace and I could see these characters appear in follow up stories about additional holidays. This story is not only a great way to get kids interested in a fun wintertime tradition, but also to teach them about ways to be flexible and how to meet in the middle. Compromises can be a challenge, but Groundhog is a great role model in how to make everyone happy.