Gr 1-3-In a book that brings the Hundred Acre Wood to mind-even down to the maps on the endpapers-Peabody has created a rustic world called Blackberry Hollow. It is inhabited by Jeremy Field Mouse; Parnassus, a burly bear storekeeper; Major, a big brown horse; Tom McPaddy, a Scottish frog; and Mr. Kip, a raccoon, among others. The seven chapters are episodic and stand alone, each one revolving around a couple of the Hollow's residents. The pages are graced by numerous truly charming pen-and-ink drawings. The layout is appealing and the large trim-size and typeface are ideal. However, some of the vocabulary might prove difficult for young readers, and they might have a hard time deciphering Tom McPaddy's dialect on their own. Also, the old-fashioned and rather strained charm of the stories makes this an unlikely choice for independent readers; as a read-aloud, it's a little slow, for the adventures themselves are not as fresh, funny, or engaging as those found in Milne's books or in The Wind in the Willows.-Vanessa Elder, School Library Journal
The old-fashioned setting of this gentle talking-beast tale is tranquil Blackberry Hollow, where everyday is "a fine spring day," where the citizens favor bowler hats, and where everyone gathers together in a thatched cottage with flowers growing from the ceiling and walls. The colorful, sometimes verbose text relates the adventures of a group of animal friends--testy Jeremy Field Mouse, wise raccoon Mr. Kip; clever horse Major, homesick Scottish frog Tom McPaddy, and kindly bear inventor Parnassus. The humor is often whimsical, sometimes broad. Reminiscent of the work of Ernest Shepherd (no small feat), the pen-and-ink sketches are delightful. With its warmth and sympathy, this handsome book is an obvious choice to read-aloud to fans of Pooh and Mole.