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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Willow’s Walk in the Woods is the third book in the Willow and Coco children’s series, written in rhyme by Rachel McGrath and illustrated by Mario Tereso. Willow is a long-haired cat who decides, one sunny afternoon, to go for a walk through the woods. When her best friend, a puppy named Coco, asks if he can come along too, she tells him that she wants to go alone because he makes a lot of noise when he is excited. Jumping the fence, Willow spots several wild animals during her walk: a rabbit, red squirrel, butterflies, a fawn, hedgehog, sparrow, a field mouse, otter and a white swan. Although she normally likes to hunt birds and mice, Willow is more content to sit and watch these animals as they peacefully interact with nature and their surroundings. Willow is happy to see all of these amazing new animals until she hears a familiar loud barking, which chases all of the animals away. When Coco runs up beside Willow, the peaceful walk through the forest has come to an end and the two friends return home for some rest, as Willow dreams of the animals she had seen that day while she snuggles up to a sleeping Coco.
This educational story about such a variety of animals is the perfect addition to any child’s library. Rachel McGrath not only introduces several different species to the reader, but also discusses how each behaves in its natural environment, as well as how a cat would normally interact with such an animal. Showing how Willow spots an animal and quietly observes it in peace might also encourage children to do the same, while learning much about the fauna in their local area. Every scene is brought to life with such remarkable color illustrations, making the book fun at story time. Willow’s Walk in the Woods would ideally be stocked in home, day care, kindergarten and home libraries as it is a book which can be read again and again, teaching children about how peace and the precious animals in the world we inhabit go hand in hand.