Perfect Picture Book Friday – Lost In The Woods, and The Birthday Contest Winners!

Last Saturday we had dinner with our daughter, son-in-law, and little granddaughter.  On our way home through a lovely late May twilight, just before we turned into our road, we saw a doe grazing right at the edge of the tall meadow grass.  The car startled her.  She lifted her head from the grass and with one graceful leap disappeared into the sheltering trees.  And oh!  Right behind her out of that tall grass came the first little fawn we’ve seen this year!  So tiny.  So delicate.  So earnestly intent on staying with his mama 🙂

So for today’s Perfect Picture Book, I had to share one of my favorites.  I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!

Lost In The Woods: A Photographic Fantasy
Written By & Photographed By: Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick
Published By: Carl R. Sams II Photography, June, 2004, Reality Based Fiction

Suitable For: ages 5 and up

Themes/Topics: Animals, Patience, Seasons (Spring), Trust

Opening: “The Spring frogs sing-singing with a thousand trilling voices were silenced by the rising sun.  New life came into the woods before the sun touched the tops of the trees.  He slept quietly in the tall grass on the north edge of the meadow where the trees start the forest.”

Brief Synopsis:  The woodland creatures are worried that a newborn fawn might be lost.  “Mama said to wait right here,” the fawn whispers.  “She will come back.”  But the other animals aren’t convinced and offer their advice and help.  Does the doe come back?  What do you think? 🙂

Links To Resources:  The book itself is a resource.  Page after page of gorgeous photographs of woodland creatures will introduce children to animals and birds they may never have seen, especially if they live in the city.  The very last page of the book challenges readers to look back through the pictures and see if they can find a number of hidden animals.  Activity pages, Lesson Plan.  If you’re lucky enough to live in a rural area, go for a “deer drive” in the evening, cruising slowly along back roads, and see how many different animals and birds you can spot 🙂

Why I Like This Book:  I love this story!  It’s simple and sweet.  On the first page where the fawn appears, he is a tangle of fragile limbs.  His spotted fur helps him blend into the forest floor.  By the last page, he has mastered those rascally legs and can be seen bounding through the meadow grass with such joy you can’t help but smile at his airs above the ground.  But the best part is the photography.  It’s breathtaking.  Absolutely stunning!  The fawn’s fur looks like you could reach out and touch it.  You can see his eyelashes!  And there are so many other animals pictured – chipmunk, goslings, a tree frog whose camouflage is amazing!, cardinal, red-winged blackbird, raccoon, and many others.  I know I’m an animal lover (and therefore biased :)) but I think this book is exquisitely beautiful and one that anyone would enjoy!

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.


I know you’ve all been anxiously waiting for the moment when I announce the winners of the Birthday Contest.

Thank you for your patience.

And I am definitely going to tell you just as soon as I recite The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.

In Middle English.

(deep breath)

Whan that Aprill with his shoures sote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendered is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes…”

Sorry 🙂  I’m just fooling’ with you – can’t seem to help myself 🙂  But I won’t really put you through a recitation of all 900 billion stanzas (or however many there are – it seemed like at least 900 billion when we were in 9th grade) and besides, I can only remember about 16 lines of the General Prologue 🙂

So anyway.  The Birthday Contest!

We had so many talented writers, and so many wonderful entries!  It was incredibly hard, but we narrowed them down to 6:

#1 A Gift Of Love by Delores
#2 A Present For A Pirate by Cathy
#3 Not Another Birthday! by Erik
#4 Birthday At The Beach by Carrie
#5 Dan’s Birthday Plan by Stacy
#6 The Biggest And The Best by Anthony

96 voters weighed in with their opinions and the winners are…


Third Place:  CATHY with A Present For A Pirate

Second Place:  CARRIE with Birthday At The Beach

and last but not least….

First Place and Big Winner 🙂  ANTHONY with The Biggest And The Best!!!

Congratulations to all of you, and to all who entered!  You were all superb and I think I speak for everyone when I say we thoroughly enjoyed all the entries and admire your hard work and bravery in entering!  Thank you all!

Anthony, Carrie, and Cathy, please contact me using that handy Email Me button on the right or, if you prefer manual labor, by emailing to susanna [at] susannahill [dot] com.  Anthony will get first choice of the prizes, Carrie will get second choice, and Cathy will get third.

Once again, the prizes on offer are:

#1- a PB ms critique by me
#2 – a 3 pack of Perfect Picture Books including ChloeMy Side Of The Car, and Z Is For Moose
#4 – a $15 gift certificate to Merritt Bookstore.

Two last things before we go:

First, the lovely Jen invited me to be part of her fabulous Let’s Ask series yesterday.  If you haven’t had a chance, please pop over and visit her 🙂

Second, remember Randy’s Contest over at Author In Training, and also Delores is running a lovely Words Of June Contest which I meant to mention Wednesday, so do hop over and check them both out!

So now we can all recover from the excitement by making the Perfect Picture Book rounds 🙂  PPBF bloggers, please add your post-specific link to the list below.
Have a great weekend, everyone, and please tune in Monday for Oh Susanna and some exciting announcements 🙂

61 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Lost In The Woods, and The Birthday Contest Winners!

  1. catherinemjohnson says:

    More excitement even after all that. What could it be? I can't wait to check those links and your deer book sounds lovely. You live in a wonderful area. Have a great weekend.

    Congrats to the winners!

  2. Beth Stilborn says:

    Congratulations to Cathy, Carrie and Anthony! (What fantabulous prizes.)

    Lost in the Woods sounds like a wonderful book. I'm amazed that they were able to illustrate it with photographs — the photographer must have incredible skill and patience.

    Exciting announcements? It seems to me there's always something exciting going on around here. *sits back to wait until Monday* *gets up to pace…*

  3. This Kid Reviews Bks says:

    AWWW. Cute cover and book! 🙂 I like how the book uses real pictures (and I like the outdoors).
    Congrats all you winners! 🙂 There were a lot of great entries!
    Nice poem… UH… can you translate that? (hee hee) 😉

  4. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Carl Sams II is a photographer, Beth, and my impression is that, as a breed, they have WAY more patience than I do 🙂 I'm sure it took a very long time to get photographs like these. There is one in particular of the fawn curled up sleeping that was taken very close up – no doubt a powerful zoom lens – but it's like he's right there in your lap. And the one at the end that captures him in mid-leap is just incredible – talk about timing a shot! And yes, I'm always tiring things up around here 🙂

  5. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    The poem is really the most fun when you hear it spoken in Middle English. I had to memorize a huge chunk of it for an oral exam in college and learn all the pronunciations. It sounds like “Wan that apreel with it's shoress sote-eh, the drawt of Marsh hath pearsaid to the rote-eh” etc… 🙂 It's fun to say 🙂 Great job from you, too, on the entries, Erik!

  6. thefeatherednest says:

    Congratulations to the three winners and many thanks Susanna for the opportunity to participate. You rock!! Thanks also for the mention of my Words of June contest. Anyone interested in participating can click on the bees bum top right on my blog thefeatheredest.

  7. Angela Brown says:

    Three Cheers to the Birthday Contest Winners! YAY!!! And as for that picture book. The cover itself is so beautiful, I can just imagine with the photos within look like. Now I must make sure I have Bambi in my DVD collection so I can watch and enjoy it. Definitely have to check with my local library to make sure they have this book.

  8. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    Congrats to Anthony, Carrie and Cathy! Such fun stories. This is a great book. Enzo enjoyed the pictures. We checked out a DVD of the story, but lost track of time and never watched it.

  9. Barbara Watson says:

    Hi Susanna, I'm new to Perfect Picture Book Friday. I won a copy of BOY + BOT and wanted to share this wonderful book as a giveaway (the linky thing didn't like the + in the title, I guess), so I hopped here from Jennifer Rumberger's posts that I see each Friday.

    Lost in the Woods sounds so, so sweet. My kids actually happened upon a fawn in the woods several years ago. He was patiently waiting for his momma to return. We took photos of him and everything and he just kept waiting for her.

  10. Jennifer Young says:

    Your pb choice looks very sweet. I don't pick up too many with photographs as the illustrations but I will now. Congrats to all the contest winners!! Thanks again for being on my blog yesterday. Have a fabulous weekend.

  11. Kirsten Larson says:

    Congrats to all the winners! And I don't think I've seen Chaucer since the middle ages in college. Ha, ha. I like your perfect picture book recommendation. We've been driving slowly and watching for quail families. Sometimes they come right up to our house for a drink from our sprinklers.

  12. Tiltonph says:

    Susanna, your PPB sounds absolutely beautiful! I want to read it. I love books about woodland animals.

    Congratulations to Anthnony, Carrie and Cathy!

  13. Clarike Bowman-Jahn says:

    Congrats to the winners of the birthday story contest! You so deserve it. 🙂

    Susanna, I love the sound of your selection this week. And driving along country roads looking at nature sounds divine. We saw wild turkeys crossing our yard last week! I wonder where their babies are? It was magical. 🙂

  14. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    That is so cool, Kirsten! Take pictures and post them 🙂 We have turkeys up here on Blueberry Hill. They don't come to our yard because of the dogs, but I often see them when I'm out walking/running (and have to call the dogs off them!) The babies are so cute – at first not even as tall as the grass – you just see a little ripple in the wake of the mother 🙂

  15. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Hi Barbara and welcome! So glad you joined us 🙂 Do you want to try entering your link again with Boy Bot or Boy And Bot, or did you already figure it out? If it continues not to work for you, I'll have a go at fixing it. That is so cool that your kids found a fawn waiting! That must have been so wonderful, and how great that you even got pictures!

  16. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Susanna…thank you again so much for hosting such an awesome contest…and congrats to all of the winners and also to all of the participants…there is certainly a lot of great material for a whole bunch of children's books that may one day take their places on your PPBF list. 🙂
    I love this book that you picked today…don't we all remember Bambi…there is something about fawns that appeals to us all. Have a beautiful weekend!

  17. Heather says:

    Congratulations to the winners and thank you, Susanna, for running the contest! Lost in the Woods looks wonderful, I'll look for it at the library today.

  18. Amy Dixon says:

    Congrats to all the winners and kudos to you, Susanna, for taking the time to host such a fun contest!

    In college there was a house I lived in where, if you happened to be up in the early morning hours, sometimes there would be deer on the front lawn. It was odd because it was in the middle of a neighborhood near the coast of California, and we couldn't figure out where they were coming from. But we loved them! So your book choice brought back some good memories, thanks!

  19. Joanna Marple says:

    Huge congratulations to Anthony, Carrie and Cathy.

    I loved the Chaucer and swooned over 'Lost in the Woods,' how much I would love this book, of that I am sure!

  20. Cathy says:

    Great PPBF choice – the same team has also authored “Stranger in the Woods” in which the woodland critters encounter a snowman in their midst. Same gorgeous photography in a snowy season. I highly recommend it!

    Very excited, honored and humbled to find that “Present for a Pirate” finished in the top 3 of the Birthday Contest among such an amazing, talented pool of entries. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!

    Will return on Monday for Oh Susanna and for the next chapter in “As the Picture Book Pages Turn!”

  21. Coleen says:

    I love illustrations, but photography picture books can be so amazing too. That cover is great!
    Congrats to the winners!
    Have a great weekend Susanna 🙂

  22. Anthony Pearson says:

    Hi Susanna! Thanks for taking the time to run the contest, I was totally honored to be a finalist and ecstatic to have won. What a treat! I'm looking forward to the other contests you and fellow bloggers post. These are great opportunities to dive into writing.

    Also–I sent you an e-mail but wanted to leave a comment should it not get through or get gobbled up in cyberspace.

    All the best to you and everyone!

  23. Iza says:

    Yay! Congrats to the winners. I love Lost in the Woods! It's in my studio library for inspiration when painting my nature scenes. The photography is absolutely gorgeous.

  24. Carrie Finison says:

    Thank you to everyone who participated and voted, and thank you to Susanna for hosting such a great contest! It was really fun and I'm looking forward to the next one.

    Susanna — your Canterbury Tales recitation is impressive! Isn't it amazing how these things you were forced to memorize in high school stay with you? There really is something powerful in studying and reciting poetry.

  25. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I love Stranger In The Woods! That one has also been a family favorite for years. Julie posted it to PPBF back in the winter, if I recall correctly. But I think there's a third of these, possibly? First Snow In The Woods or something along those lines? I'll have to hunt it down 🙂 Congrats on your fantastic entry and 3rd place finish! Great work 🙂 You can't really go wrong with puffin poop 🙂

  26. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    So glad you enjoyed the contest and the book, Amy 🙂 Deer do show up in some odd places. And they will eat practically every flower you could think of planting, even if there is plenty of grass around! But I think they're so beautiful. It's those dark eyes, I think 🙂

  27. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Baby turkeys are just hatching around here, still so tiny you can barely see them. If you watch the mothers, you can see the grass wiggling behind them, but the babies aren't tall enough to be very noticeable yet!

  28. Stina Lindenblatt says:

    Congrats to the winners!!!! 😀

    Lost in the Woods sound like a book my 8 yo would like. She love animals.

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