Cover image for A fawn in the grass
A fawn in the grass
Ryder, Joanne.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : H. Holt, 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Rhyming text lists a series of animals in their natural habitats, from a fawn in the grass and a snail underneath a leaf to a buzzing bee and two racing hummingbirds.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



An intriguing journey into the natural world - from deep in the grass to high overhead.

"There's a worm on a string,

who is swaying in space.

There's a white butterfly

on a circle of lace."

As a young child takes a walk in the woods, the world comes alive with creatures and treasures big and small - from ants and lizards to moles and hawks. But the most special discovery of the day is the fawn in the grass who watches the narrator's journey begin and end.

Joanne Ryder's lyrical text and Keiko Narahashi's beautifully detailed illustrations capture the wonders of nature from a child's point of view.

Author Notes

Joanne Ryder studied journalism at Marquette University. For several years she was an editor of children's books in New York, before she quit to write full-time.

Ryder is an award-winning author whose books offer a unique blend of poetry and science. Her Just for a Day series invites children into the world of wild animals, ranging from a sea otter to Tyrannosaurus rex.

Ryder's book, The Snail's Spell, won a New York Academy of Sciences Book Award. She has been named three times in the annual list of Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children by a joint committee of the Children's Book Council and the National Science Teachers Association.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 2^-5. A preschooler takes a quiet walk alone in a meadow and finds treasures hidden all around him. The fawn in the grass is dramatic, but just as amazing are the insects, squirrels, and worms. A nose in a hole turns out to be a mole. A speck in the sky is a hawk circling high. Simple rhyming words express the child's sense of wonder, and soft-toned gouache-and-watercolor pictures show more than the words say: a ladybug on the child's sandal, ants on a rock. The child peeks and passes, never disturbing anything, and the fawn is still there when he comes back. Kids will enjoy the child's-eye view of the amazing natural world, the things you can see when you are quiet, still, alone, and very close. --Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Using a theme she explored for slightly older children in Step into the Night and Mockingbird Morning, Ryder's child-centered lyric poem identifies the riches to be found on a walk through a field. "There are treasures to see/ hiding all around me," says the unnamed child narrator. "I see more things each day/ as new friends come my way." Beginning and ending with the shy fawn of the title, Ryder's satisfying rhymes identify such sounds and sights as "a lizard who creeps/ past another who sleeps" and "a blur and a whir/ as two hummingbirds race." Narahashi (Who Said Red?) populates her deceptively simple gouache and watercolor paintings with chickadees, ferns, shadowed bark and sleepy woodland flowers. Her delicate renderings create just enough suspense to keep young readers turning pages. A mysterious nose peeks from a hole in the ground and on the succeeding page becomes a pink-faced mole. A "speck in the sky" transforms into a sweeping panorama of "a hawk circl[ing] high." A white butterfly in a plain blue sky lands lightly on the next spread "on a circle of [Queen Anne's] lace." Though never stated explicitly, the book underscores the message that nature is full of beauty, grace and unexpected pleasures. Ages 2-5. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Through a simple rhyming text, Ryder encourages readers to explore the world around them as she describes some of the creatures found in many parts of the country. "There's a fawn in the grass,/watching me as I pass./I am silent and slow/as it watches me go./There's a trail on a leaf/and a snail underneath./There are treasures to see/hiding all around me." The fawn begins and ends the cycle; in between are lizards, hummingbirds, a mole, a hawk, and more. Narahashi's gouache-and-watercolor illustrations extend the possibilities for exploration by showing additional life that is not mentioned explicitly. The artist's shifting perspectives from eye level to ground and then looking down from above widens the scope for readers' perceptions and adds to the overall effectiveness of the book. A brief note and photograph at the end reveal the actual fawn that inspired the story. An excellent choice for storytime or general reading aloud.-Ellen A. Greever, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.