Stranger in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy

by Carl R Sams II

Other authorsJean Stoick (Author)
Hardcover, 2010


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Call number

E Sa


Carl R. Sams II Photography (2010), Edition: 10th Anniversary ed.


Forest animals, awakened by the birds' warning that there is a stranger in the woods, set out to discover if there is danger and find, instead, a wonderful surprise.

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User reviews

LibraryThing member rpultusk
This beautiful book tells the story of the animals in the forest who are confused about the presence of a "stranger in the woods." The story is beautifully illustrated with photographs of all of the animals in the snow-covered forest, from the birds to the deer to the small rodents. The stranger is
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actually a snowman and he is not the only stranger in the woods: there are also two children quietly watching the animals greet the snowman.

The authors give voice to the animals and use the photos, along with the text, to tell the story. The text beautifully matches the animals' facial expressions in the pictures. The is an adorable winter story and would work well for story time.

The book even includes a recipe for the perfect snowman, including props and other creative suggestions.

Highly recommended for preschool and elementary school libraries.
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LibraryThing member Bookwormeater
This book is about animals trying to find out who the stranger in the woods is. It turns out to be a snow man, that was made by humans. The animals talk. This would be a great book to teach the lesson of friendship or acceptance.
LibraryThing member pvhslibrarian
Written in the form of a discussion between the birds and animals in the forest, the clever passages mimic the natural sounds made by the various creatures. The most impressive feature of the book, however, is the striking nature photography showing the animals in their natural habitat. The story
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is based on the author and his wife's experiences of feeding the wildlife in the woods near their home. The animals react to the stranger (a snowman) that suddenly appears after a snowfall. This may be the closest some kids get to seeing forest creatures in their natural surroundings and rightfully entitled "a Photographic Fantasy."
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LibraryThing member dreams_ark
This book is just fun, and, if you look at the back inside cover, you can tell the authors had fun doing it.
LibraryThing member suzeneal
Great book with wonderful pictures. The photographer did an excellent job capturing the pictures for this book,
LibraryThing member aflanig1
A story about different animals in the woods- uses real life pictures
LibraryThing member JoNe0597
i liked the concept of the story...and when the bird went chika-dee-dee-dee
LibraryThing member bbruskland
This book tells the story of two deer traveling through the woods and discover something out of the ordinary. All of the pictures are done using photography. This story gives a fictional tale from an animals perspective by using real photographs.
LibraryThing member jessotto
A book whose plot takes place in the snowy woods. It gives the perspective of the animals in the woods as they witness, and round up the courage, to approach a snowman in the woods. I enjoyed this book because it gives the opportunity for the reader to really animate and engage it's audience. I
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also enjoyed this book because it's title created a scary, worried feel but in actuality the book was fun and harmless. For example, if we were to see only the title "Stranger in the Woods" we could probably draw many darker outcomes of what could happen in the woods. The book showed us quite the opposite with it's light and bright colors with soft illustrations of animals who reside in the woods. I thought the main purpose of this book was to show young readers that strangers are not always scary, sometimes they are just people or animals that we are unfamiliar with- and while we should be cautious of strangers, not all strangers are dangerous.
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LibraryThing member MelynnReadmond
In my opinion this picture book is wonderful because of the real life pictures and the different perspective of the stranger in the woods. The story is about the woodland animals after a snowfall finding a stranger in the woods. The animals become curious and investigate the new member. Eventually
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the reader finds out the stranger is a snowman that feeds the animals in the woods with his carroty nose and the left over seeds on the ground. At the end the children who created the snowman vow to continue to come back and watch the animals investigate the snowman after each snowfall. The fact that the book is from the perspective of the animals in the language used and the pictures are from the perspective of the children watching them allows the reader to feel like he or she is there as well. The big idea of this picture book is to help readers see what animals think of new things in their homes.
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LibraryThing member sarahbassett
In my opinion, Stranger in the Woods, is a wonderful children’s modern fantasy book. The illustrations and the characters allow this book to share the big idea with its readers that animals will react when a stranger in their woods appear.

The illustrations are real photographs that two
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photographers took while in the woods. The pictures are of deer, an owl, a blue jay, a mourning dove, a muskrat, a squirrel, a porcupine, a rabbit, a chickadee, a mouse, and a cardinal. The blue jay was the first animal in the story to notice that there is a “Stranger in the woods,” and the deer were sure to hear the blue jays alert. The photographs shows, in the upper left hand corner of the page, a blue jay as she looks down at a mother doe and her fawn as they timidly walk through the woods. As the story goes on an owl says, “Who-hoo’s in the woods? Why is he here? When? When did the stranger come?” The first time the owl is shown, he is on a tree branch staring straight at the readers. The photographers really captured great pictures of each animal in the story! The photographs enhance the story tremendously because the animals are given voices; thus, the readers become more engaged. All in all, the pictures go hand in hand to support the text.

The deer are shown most throughout the story. They are most afraid of the stranger in the woods. However, when the chickadees fly close and land on the stranger’s nose, the deer become more curious and begin to walk closer to the stranger. The stranger in the woods is the main character; he is a snowman that a young little boy and girl built together. They placed corn under the snowman to attract the deer. So when the deer finally come close to the snowman the deer says, “Could it be there’s something for me? My nose is leading me to corn buried beneath the snow.” Another deer says, “I found a treat that I can eat…WOW! A carrot! Do I have to share it?” The snowman and the several deer that are pictured in this book really allow the reader to see how animals become frightened when there is something new in their environment.

This is a great book! I recommend Stranger in the woods to all families!
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LibraryThing member pbusto1
There are many reasons I liked this book. First of all, the author did a great job with the plot, it was well organized and the ending was surprising and cute. It had realistic pictures that drew my attention right away and it captivated my attention because of the title. The book tells a story
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that is interesting and it is easy to follow along with. Any student would love this story. I believe that the animal’s point of view, versus the children’s point of view was really a key point in the story. For example in the beginning the animals were scared, because they did not know who was in the woods. The children were in the woods building a snowman and they were not aware of the animals at first, and they didn’t want to scare the animals, when they found out the animals were in the woods they began to feed them. The big idea of this book was to teach students the different types of animals that live in the woods in the winter time.
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LibraryThing member bmille16
I really like this book for many reasons including the visuals, the messages, and the word choice. The pictures are vivid and are based off of real photographs, which gives readers the accurate image of the setting. The message in this book is for readers to be cautious of strangers and unfamiliar
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peers, but to be open to new bonds and relationships. The word choice in this story allows the animals to talk and give readers the opportunity to see this fantasy of communicating in such a way with animals.
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LibraryThing member estree1
I liked this book because it used real photographs to tell a fantastical story about woodland animals. The language of the book was engaging and I enjoyed that the animals interacted together to find out who the stranger in the woods was. The big idea of this story is to show children the fun
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interactions that could happen in the snowy woods.
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LibraryThing member egiddi1
I liked this book for the photographs and the plot. The photographs enhanced the story. It showed the reader that could actually happen, it also fits the story. For example when the deer eats the carrot, the picture matches the story. The plot of the story is suspenseful from the beginning. When
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the readers hear the title, they are trying to figure out what is going to happen. Then while reading, they are still trying to figure out who the stranger is and who is going to approach the stranger. The message being cautious when meeting new people but being open to new friendships.
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LibraryThing member anunez1
There are two main reasons why I enjoyed this book. First, I enjoyed the use of realistic pictures to depict the actions of the animals. With the use of such pictures the reader is able to connect to what animals they are familiar with seeing who live in the woods. It is a great way to connect a
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naturalist to literature. The second reason why I enjoy this book is because of the authors use of animal sounds in the text. This makes reading and listening to the story more enjoyable and again relate-able as well. By utilizing these sounds it makes the book come alive so to speak because these are common sounds we can hear in our own neighborhoods during winter. The big idea of this story is that when someone new arrives and you are not sure who they are, it is best to get to know the person. You never know if they may be carrying goodies with them.
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LibraryThing member ajohns75
In my opinion, this book served as a great read and wonderful visual for students of all ages. The multiple animal characters come to life through the word choice used by the author to allow the creatures to respond to the stranger in the woods in a way that would accurately reflect an animal's
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response if one was possible to decode. The photography used on each page provides readers with crystal clear pictures of every scene of the story and the ability to place themselves directly in the scene identifying the stranger. The story builds to an adorable climax that will make any audience appreciate the creativity the author brought to her work. I would recommend this text to any elementary teacher to use in his or her classroom to keep students engaged and questioning what will happen next in the story.
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LibraryThing member csmith109
In my opinion this is a great book! I really enjoyed the characters and how believable they were. Although the pictures in this book are actual photos the voices of the animals are not real. The conversations the animals had throughout the book were actual conversations I could see woodland animals
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having if they could talk. For example, when they are decided who will go see who the stranger is each animal volunteers for their own reasons. The deer volunteers because he is strong and the bird volunteers because she can fly and is fast.
Although the pictures were photographs and not illustrations i believe they really enhanced the story and gave great visuals to the reader. The photographs help draw the reader in and keep their attention while making the story believable. They also really fit the story line and help the reader follow along. The big idea of this message is that although you should be careful, not all strangers are bad. Some may even be yummy like the one in this story!
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LibraryThing member agaski3
At the beginning of this book I was a little bored but ended up loving it due to the twist ending. I thought that the illustrations were very interesting. The use of photography made the story come alive and seem believable (even thought it was fantasy). The use of literary techniques in the
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writing also made the story come alive. The onomatopoeia (like who-hoo) and play on sounds (like chickadee-dee-dee) gave life to the characters and story. The message of the story was that it's all about perspective. Something that we recognize as commonplace, like a snowman in a snowy field, could seem like an intruder with someone/thing in another culture.
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LibraryThing member rsochu1
I had mixed feelings about this book after reading it. I liked the book because the "illustrations" are actually photographs. This is a unique feature in a children's picture book. I like that the pictures provide real life images of characters/animals. This is important because some children have
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never seen real animals in the woods. However, I did not like the plot very much because I felt like it dragged on longer than necessary. For example, when the animals are discussing who will be the first to go check out the stranger in the woods, there are too many individual animals focused on. This can make it difficult for young children to stay focused through the entire story. I believe that the main idea is to make sure not to "judge a book by it's cover" or not to judge anything or anyone before knowing more about them.
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LibraryThing member aholli3
I loved this book because rather than displaying the average illustrations that most books consist of, this one is developed through photography. The camera is set up in the woods next to a snowman. It captures the relationship between the snowman and animals in the woods. Another reason that I
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enjoyed this book was the language. I felt that the language was simply enlightening. The author did a great job of speaking eloquently, but still using vocabulary appropriate for children. The big message of the story was that love is when one is giving and caring.
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LibraryThing member amassingale
This is a strange book. The author of this book went out into the wilderness and took pictures of wildlife around a snowman, and tried to create a story based on the pictures that they took. The animals find a stranger, and they are all asking what it is. When they build up the courage to
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investigate, they see that it is just a snowman and their is food for them. The animals eat all of the treats and then they leave. There are two children standing by to watch and they run out to the snowman and put more treats out for the animals in hopes that they come back. Genre: fantasy because no animals can talk.
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LibraryThing member sommerkirk
This modern fantasy book is about a stranger in the woods who is a snowman. All of the animals try to find out who this stranger is, and eventually find out that this stranger is there for them. There are things on the stranger that they can eat. Eventually the animals go away and the kids come
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back and rebuild the snowman. There is a recipe for a snowman on the back page.
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LibraryThing member Cdavie3
Stranger in the Woods by Carl Sams is a great book. A one-two punch of exciting characters and engaging point of view, students of any kind will be hooked from the very beginning as the stage is set to find out who this stranger in the woods will be. This book creates exciting characters by using
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animals that many kids would be familiar with and giving them human like qualities. The cute Chickadee helps narrate the story as many animals join together to solve the mystery of who the stranger in the woods is. Paradigm changes through out the book are alive in every sense of the word as the audience hangs on till the very end of the story. Stranger in the Woods is not only engaging, but a cute book that creates suspense.
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LibraryThing member SqueakyChu
This is really a lovely book in many ways. It introduces youngsters to the winter season, to the animals that are out in the woods, and to the kindness of children. The story is a cute one of animals noticing a stranger in their midst and discovering the stranger to be a source of treats and food.
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The photographs are fabulous.

My 2 1/2-year-old grandson and I find lots to talk about when looking through the pages of this book. We always laugh when we see the deer eat the snowman's carrot nose. This is a book which delights me when he selects it for our story time together.
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Triple Crown Awards (Classic (Runner-Up/Honor Book) — 2001)
Indies Choice Book Award (Honor Book — 2001)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

9.79 x 9.29 inches


098276250X / 9780982762509


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