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Stranger in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy

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Who is this Stranger? Why did he arrive after a winter storm and what wonderful surprises does he bring?Your children will love this photographic fantasy created by two noted wildlife photographers. You'll discover this tale is beta-carotene for the spirit in everyone.


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Who is this Stranger? Why did he arrive after a winter storm and what wonderful surprises does he bring?Your children will love this photographic fantasy created by two noted wildlife photographers. You'll discover this tale is beta-carotene for the spirit in everyone.

30 review for Stranger in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Peacegal

    The text isn't the strongest, but readers young and old will delight in the stunning nature photography throughout Stranger in the Woods. The "stranger" is a snowman that two children have decorated with treats for the hungry woodland animals. This book would be a nice resource for classroom identification and discussion of our wild neighbors, many of whom will be familiar to students in both rural and suburban areas. I was also pleased to see whitetail deer featured prominently and positively through The text isn't the strongest, but readers young and old will delight in the stunning nature photography throughout Stranger in the Woods. The "stranger" is a snowman that two children have decorated with treats for the hungry woodland animals. This book would be a nice resource for classroom identification and discussion of our wild neighbors, many of whom will be familiar to students in both rural and suburban areas. I was also pleased to see whitetail deer featured prominently and positively throughout. In various parts of the country, these graceful animals are considered little more than targets, trophies, or pests; so it's always nice to see a more compassionate portrayal.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    While my husband and I didn't care much for this book, our son loved it and requested it constantly. As a result, he now identifies chickadees and cardinals in our yard - in the end it was worth the clumsy writing style.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alecia

    My daughter loved reading a different book called "One Snowy Day" about cartoon animals that build a snowman so when I saw this book, I thought it would be a perfect one to read and compare. We loved the photographs and the "recipe" for building a snow man at the back. It was a good book to read aloud with some opportunities to ask my children about their predictions ("Who do you think the stranger in the woods is?") or to make inferences ("Why do you think they children are hiding behind the tr My daughter loved reading a different book called "One Snowy Day" about cartoon animals that build a snowman so when I saw this book, I thought it would be a perfect one to read and compare. We loved the photographs and the "recipe" for building a snow man at the back. It was a good book to read aloud with some opportunities to ask my children about their predictions ("Who do you think the stranger in the woods is?") or to make inferences ("Why do you think they children are hiding behind the trees?"). We are hoping that it snows one more time so that we can make a snowman and put some birdseed on him like the children in the book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Christina/ The Blog for Teachers, Readers, & Life!

    Stanger in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy (ages 4-8) was created by Carl R. Sams II and his wife Jean Stoick. Sams and Stoick created an enchanting story filled with captivating photographs of winter wildlife. Who is the Stranger in the Woods, and what is so special about him? This book has been on the New York Times Bestseller list, the International Reading Association Award, Ben Franklin Award along with approximately 80 awards in total.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Melki

    Following a snow storm, the cry goes out among the animals - "Stranger in the woods!" After much debate, a young buck volunteers to investigate, but it's the bold Chickadee who makes first contact. The stranger doesn't say much, but he does share what he can with the animals. And what a cute ending!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    This is a beautiful book and a nice story. We like to read it each year after we put up our Christmas tree.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brianna Clark

    What really drew me in was the intense real life illustrations that relate so well to the content of the story.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jodi

    A much-loved favorite we keep re-reading every winter. :-)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Coyle

    Beautiful photography of animals along with a rhythmic story that will delight young children. A must for the bookshelf of young ones to read on a cold winter's night.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Fiene

    This children’s book is beautifully crafted. Each illustration is a high-quality photo of scenes from the woods in the winter season. The pages are glossy and give the photos a richer look. Each photo captures a different animal with supporting text. The text of this book does not just tell the reader about the animals like one might think it would by just looking at the type of storybook this is, but instead, the text is dialogue of the animals as they go about their day trying to figure out wh This children’s book is beautifully crafted. Each illustration is a high-quality photo of scenes from the woods in the winter season. The pages are glossy and give the photos a richer look. Each photo captures a different animal with supporting text. The text of this book does not just tell the reader about the animals like one might think it would by just looking at the type of storybook this is, but instead, the text is dialogue of the animals as they go about their day trying to figure out who the stranger in their woods is. I feel as though the author did an excellent job of capturing photographs that went along with the storyline and text. While flipping through the pages and reading, I immediately noticed the facial expressions of each character. The facial expressions of each animal match what is happening in the story at that very moment. For example, at one point in the book, the animals are alarmed by the news of the stranger that has settled in their woods. As the deer hears of this and seeks to find the stranger, his facial expression looks to be worried or concerned. This aspect of the book impressed me, because taking photographs at the opportune time to capture an animal’s body language seems to be more difficult than if the author were to have an illustrator illustrate the text. Finally, on a few pages of the book, the author adds text that curves around the page. On the first couple pages, when the animals find out about the stranger, the author uses the text playfully to announce the message being spread: “Stranger in the woods!” This line can be seen dancing across the page in a curved fashion in the beginning of the novel. The author also uses rhyming words as the animals discuss the new inhabitant of the woods. The rhyming words make the story an entertaining read for an audience of younger children. Overall, I enjoyed the rich pictures throughout and the fun text that matched the pictures take by the author so well. I believe the book was crafted in such a beautiful way, that it is easy to see why it won the Benjamin Franklin Award.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alecia

    Author: Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoic Illustrator: Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoic Genre: fiction, photographic fantasy Publication Info: Carl R. Sams II Photography, Inc. (2000) Reading Level: Ages 9-12; fluent Topic/Theme: winter, wild life, woodlands Issues Addressed: feeding animals in the wild, winter in the woods Classroom Uses: independent reading, read aloud; I would use this book to discuss the outdoors during the winter or spark discussio Author: Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoic Illustrator: Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoic Genre: fiction, photographic fantasy Publication Info: Carl R. Sams II Photography, Inc. (2000) Reading Level: Ages 9-12; fluent Topic/Theme: winter, wild life, woodlands Issues Addressed: feeding animals in the wild, winter in the woods Classroom Uses: independent reading, read aloud; I would use this book to discuss the outdoors during the winter or spark discussion on how children interact with wild life Summary: Animals in the woods sense that a stranger has arrived. They cautiously discover a snowman that has been built by children overnight. They also discover that the snowman can be eaten. There are seeds left in the hat, a carrot nose, and acorns for eyes and mouth. The animals enjoy the stranger and the children refill the treats often. Text and image: The text in this book is positioned differently on some pages, which may make it hard for children to read. The photographs used as illustrations in this book really enhance the story and draw readers in to look at this mysterious stranger through the eyes of the woodland animals. Literary Devices: personification (animals are speaking)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anya

    This is a great book to teach kids how to tell a story through still-life photographs, rather than illustrations in books (which they are accustomed to). It has a heartwarming story to go along with the photo and kids enjoy hearing the different sounds animals make as the story is read. Young children will gain valuable prediction skills as they try to figure out who the "stranger" is in the woods, along with the animals. Teachers and parents, alike, can tie in the theme of this book with caring This is a great book to teach kids how to tell a story through still-life photographs, rather than illustrations in books (which they are accustomed to). It has a heartwarming story to go along with the photo and kids enjoy hearing the different sounds animals make as the story is read. Young children will gain valuable prediction skills as they try to figure out who the "stranger" is in the woods, along with the animals. Teachers and parents, alike, can tie in the theme of this book with caring for wintery wildlife by making practical crafts and activities like bird feeders or leaving yarn, nuts, etc. for animals to gather in the winter. It's also a great introduction to discussing which kinds of non-hibernating animals remain in the area during the cold winter months and how they must prepare for the long period when not much grows to provide food or shelter for them. I read this book every year to my 3, 4, and 5-yr old preschoolers and they absolutely love it! It never fails that they all want to build a "stranger" of their own and tell me which animals they have seen in their own backyards.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ashli Stroyan

    This book is one of my favorites and is a must read during the winter season. The authors are photographers who have incorporated the most beautiful photos in a beautiful story. The story begins after a fresh snow, and various animals in the woods spy a “stranger in the woods.” What they believe is a stranger is actually a snowman the children have made, with nuts, seeds, and a carrot nose to feed the animals. While the animals “talk” to each other trying to figure out who the stranger is, and b This book is one of my favorites and is a must read during the winter season. The authors are photographers who have incorporated the most beautiful photos in a beautiful story. The story begins after a fresh snow, and various animals in the woods spy a “stranger in the woods.” What they believe is a stranger is actually a snowman the children have made, with nuts, seeds, and a carrot nose to feed the animals. While the animals “talk” to each other trying to figure out who the stranger is, and become brave enough to seek it out, the children are hiding in the brush watching and waiting for the animals to come eat what they have put on the snowman for them. After the animals eat the food from the snowman, the children continue to replace the snowman treats for their winter friends until the snow is gone. This is a great story to teach children about animals in the winter with real photographs, and how they can be a part of caring for them in a fun way. This book is very deserving of the Benjamin Franklin Award it received.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Vivian

    This is a little on the "wordy" side for sharing in a library story time, but I feel free to "edit" as I go. The photographs engage the children. I invited them to say aloud "stranger in the woods!" each time I turned the page. I like the phrases attached to the animals. For instance, BLUE JAY says "Take care! Take care!" The OWL says "Who-hoo's in the woods? Where? Where did the blue jay say?" The MOURNING DOVE says "Coo-coo-could that be him?" The CHICKADEE says, "Howdy-dee-dee". The CARDINAL This is a little on the "wordy" side for sharing in a library story time, but I feel free to "edit" as I go. The photographs engage the children. I invited them to say aloud "stranger in the woods!" each time I turned the page. I like the phrases attached to the animals. For instance, BLUE JAY says "Take care! Take care!" The OWL says "Who-hoo's in the woods? Where? Where did the blue jay say?" The MOURNING DOVE says "Coo-coo-could that be him?" The CHICKADEE says, "Howdy-dee-dee". The CARDINAL says, "But I am RED!" In addition to birds you will encounter a MUSKRAT, a SQUIRREL, a PORCUPINE, a RABBIT, a MOUSE, and of course DEER (a buck, doe, and fawn variety). Eventually all the creatures find the stranger -- a SNOWMAN -- and lunch upon the seeds in its hat, the corn and seeds at its base, and its CARROT nose (hoping to not have to "share it"). Our story times this week are featuring FROZEN's "OLAF" friend SVEN the reindeer, so this book was perfect. The children enjoyed it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kara Moreland

    This book tells about animals in the woods after a fresh snow. As soon as the sun peaks up everyone is noticing a stranger that is in the woods. After a big debate on who will go check it out, they finally go to see the snowman. On the snowman is food for all of the animals (seed, corn, carrots). After all of the food is gone two children come out from behind the bushes to put more food out for them. Such a sweet story and book! The book is actually made of real pictures taken in the woods, and This book tells about animals in the woods after a fresh snow. As soon as the sun peaks up everyone is noticing a stranger that is in the woods. After a big debate on who will go check it out, they finally go to see the snowman. On the snowman is food for all of the animals (seed, corn, carrots). After all of the food is gone two children come out from behind the bushes to put more food out for them. Such a sweet story and book! The book is actually made of real pictures taken in the woods, and they are excellent! It really ties the story in with the pictures. This may be one of my favorite books now. This would be good in a young class for a read aloud. The good message would be great to share around winter.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hope Gockenbach

    Stranger in the woods is kind of an interesting book. It has real pictures as the art to match the story line, and it does match, but it's also involves talking animals. It's all about animals who find out that there is a stranger in the woods and them finding out who it is. They are all a little afraid of exploring to see who it is, but eventually way few animals decide to take a look. They find a snowman, with a nose made of carrots and bird seed on his hat. They eat all the food off him, and Stranger in the woods is kind of an interesting book. It has real pictures as the art to match the story line, and it does match, but it's also involves talking animals. It's all about animals who find out that there is a stranger in the woods and them finding out who it is. They are all a little afraid of exploring to see who it is, but eventually way few animals decide to take a look. They find a snowman, with a nose made of carrots and bird seed on his hat. They eat all the food off him, and then go to look for more. The end shows the reader who is actually leaving the food, and gives kids a recipe to make their own edible snowman. It’s a fun way for kids to get to know what animals really look like, but to have fun with it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lv2readB

    Sams II, C.R. and Stoick, J. (2000). Stranger in the woods. Milford, MI: Carl R. Sams II Photography. Summary: Animals and birds in the wintry woods notice a stranger (snowman) suddenly appears among the snow and trees. Photos of the creatures approaching the snowman are engaging and full-page. Reviews/Awards: American Booksellers Book Sense Book of the Year (ABBY) Award, 2001 Finalist Benjamin Franklin Award, 2000 Winner Borders Original Voices Award, 2003 Finalist International Reading Association, 2001 />

  18. 5 out of 5

    typewriterdeluxe

    I love the concept of the book, but the delivery is just okay. It's great to see a picture book illustrated with photographs (especially of wild animals that kids can enjoy identifying), but the text needed better editing to feel more professional. There are some dubious punctuation and spacing/line break choices that are jarring for a first-time read aloud, and the middle part of the book drags on. I don't fault the photographers-authors for this, as these are really just polishing details that I love the concept of the book, but the delivery is just okay. It's great to see a picture book illustrated with photographs (especially of wild animals that kids can enjoy identifying), but the text needed better editing to feel more professional. There are some dubious punctuation and spacing/line break choices that are jarring for a first-time read aloud, and the middle part of the book drags on. I don't fault the photographers-authors for this, as these are really just polishing details that a good editor should have helped them with. It's a beautiful book, and it's clear that the photographer-authors are excited to share these magical outdoor moments with kids. I'd recommend this as a fun, winter-themed library read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    The Book Maven

    Anthropomorphic language and imagery, rhyming, alliteration all accompany the gorgeous photographs of various wild animals going about their day in the winter woods, gossiping about the stranger who appeared overnight and is disrupting their routine. Their wariness is quickly overcome by the discovery of carrots and seed around the stranger, who remains immobile even as the birds and bunnies and deer feed around him. Have you guessed it? It's a snowman, built by young children who delightedly ob Anthropomorphic language and imagery, rhyming, alliteration all accompany the gorgeous photographs of various wild animals going about their day in the winter woods, gossiping about the stranger who appeared overnight and is disrupting their routine. Their wariness is quickly overcome by the discovery of carrots and seed around the stranger, who remains immobile even as the birds and bunnies and deer feed around him. Have you guessed it? It's a snowman, built by young children who delightedly observe the forest creatures enjoy the treats they left. And at the end is a recipe for a snowman that the reader can follow so that they can create their own stranger in the woods!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Smith

    Stranger in the Woods was a book about a blue-jay who animals to a snowman which is in the forest. The snowman has treats on it to eat which were left by two young children. After the animals ate the items the children put more out. After looking the book over a second time, I am not sure if children would quite understand the book. It does provide real life pictures of animals which would be the most entertaining part of the book. The only way children could grasp the concept of this picture bo Stranger in the Woods was a book about a blue-jay who animals to a snowman which is in the forest. The snowman has treats on it to eat which were left by two young children. After the animals ate the items the children put more out. After looking the book over a second time, I am not sure if children would quite understand the book. It does provide real life pictures of animals which would be the most entertaining part of the book. The only way children could grasp the concept of this picture book is if they were in snow. Over all it is an okay book. I feel it is really up to the parents on this one. If your children like snow and wild animals then go for it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    This is one of Gert's favorites. She is the one who introduced me to this book. Indeed, it is a good one. The photographs are splendid! The animals notice a stranger in the woods. They talk it over as to who will approach the stranger. Eventually the buck greets the stranger. Ah, but who is the stranger? The sentences structure in this book is outstanding. A nice book to use with students as declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences are al This is one of Gert's favorites. She is the one who introduced me to this book. Indeed, it is a good one. The photographs are splendid! The animals notice a stranger in the woods. They talk it over as to who will approach the stranger. Eventually the buck greets the stranger. Ah, but who is the stranger? The sentences structure in this book is outstanding. A nice book to use with students as declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences are all present. The ending reveals that children can be clever. :) Yes, I like the book. **** My students were ga-ga over the photographs!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    The photography was beautiful and the story was cute. Given that, I was going to rate it three stars. But then I noticed the animals speech patterns matched the sounds the animals really made, more than just the owl. Additionally the special surprise for the animals that the stranger in the woods brought was heart warming, and the point they make that you can't begin feeding animals in the wild then stop, that you need to do it until the spring warms everything up was an important lesson in envi The photography was beautiful and the story was cute. Given that, I was going to rate it three stars. But then I noticed the animals speech patterns matched the sounds the animals really made, more than just the owl. Additionally the special surprise for the animals that the stranger in the woods brought was heart warming, and the point they make that you can't begin feeding animals in the wild then stop, that you need to do it until the spring warms everything up was an important lesson in environmental responsibility. The snowman recipe was pretty cute at the end too. This book surprised me.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Heuston

    Author: Carl R. Sams Genre: preK-2 Topic: Animals, Winter Theme: Animals being curious in the woods. Helping Animals Curricular Uses:Read aloud, independent reading Reading Level: early Illustrations: The photographs in the book are great. They go right along with the story. Literary elements:dialoge, onomatopoeia Thoughts:The book was very cute and kids would enjoy listening to the book aloud. Their are diff Author: Carl R. Sams Genre: preK-2 Topic: Animals, Winter Theme: Animals being curious in the woods. Helping Animals Curricular Uses:Read aloud, independent reading Reading Level: early Illustrations: The photographs in the book are great. They go right along with the story. Literary elements:dialoge, onomatopoeia Thoughts:The book was very cute and kids would enjoy listening to the book aloud. Their are different crafts and discussions that could come from this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    mary dewley

    I read this for the first time today. We had a family that came to our library to build a snow man and enjoy hot cider and doughnuts. Even though we received a ton of snow, unfortunately it wasn't wet enough to pack and make a snowman with. So we sat down and read. The beautiful photographs of the animals, the woods and the snowman could have propelled the story on their own, but the accompanying text is enjoyable and the children were delighted to make the animal noises as they listened intentl I read this for the first time today. We had a family that came to our library to build a snow man and enjoy hot cider and doughnuts. Even though we received a ton of snow, unfortunately it wasn't wet enough to pack and make a snowman with. So we sat down and read. The beautiful photographs of the animals, the woods and the snowman could have propelled the story on their own, but the accompanying text is enjoyable and the children were delighted to make the animal noises as they listened intently, waiting to discover who the stranger in the woods was.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emmaline MacBeath

    I recently read Sams newest book, First Snow in the Woods and thought it to be an amazing combination of prose and photography. Unfortunately, this book does not live up to the same quality. The prose is stilting--doesn't flow well--and the photography quality is lacking. In many places it looks very much like pieces were pasted in. The blending is poor. In other photos, the light and shadow is not well done. It's a cute concept to use a snowman covered in nuts and seeds to I recently read Sams newest book, First Snow in the Woods and thought it to be an amazing combination of prose and photography. Unfortunately, this book does not live up to the same quality. The prose is stilting--doesn't flow well--and the photography quality is lacking. In many places it looks very much like pieces were pasted in. The blending is poor. In other photos, the light and shadow is not well done. It's a cute concept to use a snowman covered in nuts and seeds to feed the animals, but this book did not deliver on quality as I hoped it would.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    I absolutely love the photography within this book!! The story matches the images so well, and creates an absolutely adorable story line for children and adults to enjoy. This book could be used for a lesson on seasons in a classroom. It would portray a winter scene perfectly with the snow and winter animals beautifully shown in this book through the photographs. Students could also easily connect this to their lives and engage more in the reading.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    The photography in this book as well as his others is amazing and the story is an adventure. Young and old will enjoy this return to Nature for storytelling. Lanette - if you aren't aware of this author or his books, I would highly recommend this for your children - one of the kindergarten teachers at Nate's school raved about his books and how much the children love them - she was right - Nate & Beth were captivated (as was I). And it's the perfect time of year to read this one.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Beck

    Stranger in the Woods is a Photographic Fantasy. K-3. I would use it in the classroom for language development. Kids learn well through the use of sounds and rhythm. Picture books allow children to discuss what is in the picture. The way the words are spread across the page is unique. Having actual photographs helps the reader connect with the characters on a greater level.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anne Hawn Smith

    This is one of the most beautiful children's books I've ever seen. I met the authors at an ALA conference the year this was published and the authors told us how much fun they had hanging out with the snowman and photographing the animals that came up to see it and sometimes take a nibble. I have no idea how many copies I have given as gifts to little ones I know. It's a wonderful gift.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    PB 13 This book is really nice. The photographs are beautiful and supply I really nice story also. The writing is really beautiful also. The animals being worried about the stranger(snow man) is really cute and a good idea. Photographinh the animals' real reactions to the snowman as they eat the nose and look at the articles of clothing is entertaining.

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