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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
There’s nothing better than a good group of friends. You can do so much together: play games, enjoy nice food and even go on adventures. That’s what Murphy, Scooter, Bandit, and Betsy decided to do: go on an adventure. They wanted to see the world and experience new things. It was actually Scooter’s idea. Scooter is a red fox pup. Murphy is a hedgehog, Bandit is a raccoon, and Betsy is a beaver. They planned and baked and prepared for the big day and ventured out together, enjoying the scenery and the companionship of good friends. And quite an adventure they had, one that might have resulted in dire circumstances if the foursome hadn’t used their wits and their talents to work together and resolve the situation.
Nancy Strom’s picture book story, Scooter and Friends Take a Vacation, is all about good friends and good times. Told in very clever rhyming verse, the story introduces each of the four friends and describes each friend using a unique characteristic about the animal, like Scooter, the red fox, who “was always up to something, into mischief, just because”- an apt description of the characteristic of a wily fox. The story is a celebration of friendships, but also one of recognizing diversity and the power of the young to overlook differences, to work together, to have fun together and to help each other out. The animal characters are developed with care and compassion and the plot thickens with added excitement as the adventure progresses. The illustrations help carry the story along as the young foursome learn how to work together and to utilize each other’s strengths to full advantage. A wonderful story about friendships and the power of diversity and acceptance.