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Raffi's Surprise    by Julia Hubery & Mei Matsuoka order for
Raffi's Surprise
by Julia Hubery
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, Softcover
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In Raffi's Surprise, we meet a delightful young racoon who loves 'the long swishy grass, the sparkling stream and the rustling, rippling trees' of his home, but especially loves Old Father Oak.

Raffi was born in a den high up in Father Oak, learned to climb in his strong branches in the spring, and played all summer in the shade of his green leaves with Chip (a chipmunk) and Blackbird. Now it's autumn and Father Oak's golden leaves are falling through a cold mist. Chip and Raffi make him a blanket of leaves to keep him warm and try to 'hug him better'. Blackbird helps them sing their 'happiest song', but still he keeps crying leaves.

Raffi's mother explains what's really happening. They prepare for winter, but before they settle down to sleep, she gives Raffi five acorns, and helps him put them to bed. Can you guess what Raffi finds when he wakes up in spring? This is a sweet story - with bright, cheerful illustrations - about the changing of the seasons, and the surprises brought by spring.

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