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First Snow in the Woods Review by Kate Kessler

By Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick
Carl R. Sams II Photography, Inc.
361 Whispering Pines
Milford, MI 48380

First Snow in the Woods is such a beautiful book. Every page is covered with gorgeous full-color close-up photographs of animals readying themselves for the first snow of winter. You will meet a monarch butterfly and a brightly-colored hummingbird "following a distant memory" as they prepare to leave before it comes. You will meet a very busy squirrel lightly chastising a very puzzled young deer unaware of the coming cold. The grumpy woodchuck announcing, "Hibernate! Hibernate!" will make your little ones giggle.

As you look at the double page spread of gorgeous red and yellow leaves over a calm creek with a turtle on the rock you read:

"Leaf by leaf the green world gave way to blazing reds and golds. The painted turtle climbed onto a rock warming himself in the fading rays of the sun. 'Soon I will bury myself into the thick mud and sleep until spring. It's what turtles do.'" 

As the fawn witnesses the changes his mother shares, "All things change. All creatures must prepare to follow their heartsong." I like this way of putting it. I believe that it is God that places that heartsong in all His creatures, that He is the one that gifts His creatures with those "distant memories." Even though the book does not state this implicitly, it is evident in all His creation and the book displays this well.

I love the profound beauty on each and every page. The striking photographs bring the change of seasons, and the changes the animals undergo, to life. The transformation from summer light-haired fawn to full winter coat is really endearing. Even the squirrel approves, "Nicely done! You are prepared! You're almost as plump as me." First Snow in the Woods is a delightful book to add to your collection.

On a side note, if your children are anything like mine, they will appreciate the precious plush fawns they also sell in their shop here: The sturdy little legs are bendable and the faces on the fawns are friendly and endearing. They will be warmly welcomed come Christmas morning as my children find them in their stockings!

-Product Review by Kate Kessler, Product Reviews Manager, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2007