Perfect Picture Book Friday! Fox and Rabbit’s Cranberry Surprise by Laurel Heger


Hi everyone! I just wanted to give you a Renn update before I get to my pick for a perfect picture book. Renn had the surgery to remove the part of his brain. He is doing really well considering what he’s been through. The Telles family still has a long way to go so keep your prayers and good-thoughts coming! I am going to announce the total donations I collected for my Reading for Renn challenge (to read about it click HERE) soon so if you wanted to or pledged to donate, please do so. There is a donation button on my Reading for Renn post at the bottom of the page (click HERE).

Thank you all for your support! 🙂

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is very cute and it has beautiful illustrations.

cranberryFox and Rabbit’s Cranberry Surprise

by Laurel Heger

Illustrated by Monette Pangan

32 pages – ages 4+

Published by Anchor Group on October 18, 2013

Theme/Topic – Friendship / gardening

Genre Friendship story

Opening and Synopsis – Taken from the back cover –

“With cranberry season upon them, Fox and Rabbit are hard at work harvesting cranberries to take to market. Later that evening, an out of the ordinary visitor pokes around looking for a warm place to rest, causing quite a ruckus in…

Fox and Rabbit’s Cranberry Surprise.”

Fox and Rabbit work very hard at gathering cranberries. A little visitor accidentally ruins a lot of their work. But Fox and Rabbit show the visitor kindness instead  of anger.

Why I liked this book – I love that the story involves friends that are a fox and a rabbit (Fox and Rabbit become friends in the first book of this series “Fox and Rabbit’s Garden” which you can read about below). This story has the main characters, Fox and Rabbit, showing kindness and friendship to a stranger (a little hedgehog) who accidentally ruins part of their harvest. It is a nice message. The illustrations are marvelous and go very well with the story. I also like the gardening / harvesting theme in the book. 

Activities and Resources –

I didn’t have to go far for activities because there is a recipe for homemade cranberry sauce in the back of the book. I can’t wait to try it out!

Cranberry Sauce

(Photo credit: taestell)

A great activity is to make your own garden. If you can’t do that, take a field trip to a local farm or farmers market!  
At this time of year, it is a great idea to talk about harvesting the food that was planted. HERE is a link to a coloring page that shows apples going from being harvest to market and being made into apple pie (yum!).
You can also check out the first book in this series, “Fox and Rabbit’s Garden: A Tale of Rabbit-less Stew.” Here is the book’s description:
“A very weary and hungry fox happens upon a little rabbit tending his vegetable garden. The kind little rabbit invites the hungry fox to stay for supper, an invitation he eagerly accepts. All the while, Fox dreams of having rabbit stew for his supper. As Fox helps prepare all the vegetables he gathered, a scrumptious aroma fills the air!”
I think this book has a wonderful tale of friendship! Fox is SO hungry and Rabbit looks SO tasty. Fox helps Rabbit garden and Rabbit is kind to Fox. In the end Fox decides the vegetable stew is much better than Rabbit stew! 

Fox and Rabbit’s Garden 

By Laurel Heger

Illustrated by Monette Pangan 

26 pages – ages 4+

Published by Anchor Group April 7, 2013

BONUS! I got to ask Ms. Heger some questions about her books!

Psst Rabbit

Hey LOOK! Fox and Rabbit are here too!
Erik so glad you could make it

Laurel: Hello Erik.  Thank you for inviting us here in support of “Perfect Picture Book” Friday. 

It’s a real pleasure.

 Erik:  What inspired you to write stories about a fox and rabbit becoming friends?

 Laurel: That is quite a long story Erik.  I crafted a tale about a rabbit tending his garden, at the request of a friend.  His daughter creates exquisite clay figurines and we were hoping to use them alongside his illustrations.  After sending the finished story, another ending was suggested.   I went back to the drawing board to add an extremely sly and hungry fox with intentions of having rabbit stew for his supper.  However, the rabbit proved to be the real sly one by killing the fox’s idea with kindness. 

 Upon sending the revision, my friend’s daughter had returned to school and did not have time to create more figurines.  My friend suggested I search for another illustrator, so I contacted, Monette Pangan, who I worked with previously.  Monette loved the story, and as a result, we now have two wonderful picture books published for children to enjoy.

Erik: I noticed that Fox and Rabbit are Goodwill Ambassadors for the Seattle Farmers Market. Can you tell me about that?

Laurel: Yes!  Fox and Rabbit are Goodwill Ambassadors to the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance of Seattle’s seven locations, the Farmers Market in Shelton Washington and the Bainbridge Island Farmers Market.   We provide them with posters & coloring sheets based on our books, plus an added page with Fox and Rabbit as vendors for their kids’ activities tents.   

  ”Fox and Rabbit” help raise awareness concerning the significance in shopping local farmers markets:

  • You meet the people who grow your food; “fresh from the farm”
  • Discover innovative cooking tips & mealtime ideas. 
  • Provide a sense of community as a platform for that awareness




Hee-hee! 😆


The sequel to Fox and Rabbit’s Garden (A Tale of the Rabbit-less Stew) has just been released: “Fox and Rabbit’s Cranberry Surprise.”  We’ve added an additional homeless character –Hedgehog– to the story.  It will be an introduction to a third book with Fox & Rabbit at the market.  

 Erik: Do you have a garden (we do ;))?

Laurel: Way to go, Erik! 

I did not have a home garden this year.   Most of my efforts revolved around the books and marketing.  I did partake in the cranberry harvest.  Cranberries are a major commercial crop on the coast of Washington state, where I live.  It turned out to be a wonderful season and ended with a celebratory annual festival, “The 20th Annual Grayland Cranberry Harvest Festival.”

Thank you again for having us!

Adorn a tree in your yard with cranberry treats.

  • String cranberries, along with shelled peanuts using heavy cotton thread and a needle.

The real fun is to watch for any visitors that may show up looking for a tasty nibble.

Where to find Fox and Rabbit’s Cranberry Surprise!
Amazon – HERE
Goodreads – HERE
Barnes and Noble – HERE

Where to find Fox and Rabbit’s Garden: Tale of Rabbit-less Stew!
Amazon – HERE
Goodreads – HERE
Barnes and Noble – HERE
  To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Categories: Age 1-5, Age 6-9, Other Stuff Related to Books and Reading, Perfect Picture Book Friday

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38 replies

  1. Thanks for the mini-interview and for introducing me too this fascinating series. I love the way the author is giving back to her community through her writing talent.
    Thanks also for the update on Renn. We are so happy to hear he is recovering well.

    • Thank you Ms. Roberts! Ms. Heger has a great message in her books. I like that she is helping the farmers market too! 🙂
      I am happy Renn seems to be doing well too! I am praying that he is able to have all his functions after his surgery. **worried**

  2. This sounds like a fun and clever read. A great theme for kids. And, I love, love cranberries. I enjoyed the interview and think it is wonderful that Rabbit and Fox a Goodwill Ambassadors.

    Great fundraising for Renn, Erik! Hope everyone honors their pledges.

  3. Erik—you are doing an amazing thing for Renn! And thank you for sharing this book and its delightful characters. Keep up the good work, as always!

  4. I have read a spectrum of comments about the publisher who produced these books. I’d be interested to read the books to make my own judgment. Of course, Erik, if you like them, the scales are already tipped in a good way and I love the connection with the Seattle Farmer’s Market!

    • I didn’t really pay attention to the publisher but I went back and saw that this is the first book I ever reviewed from them. I liked both of these (from the same author) very much and thought they were done very well. The connection to the farmers market really caught my interest too Ms. Greenly! Thank you for your comment!

  5. What a lovely story of kindness, Erik. And fab interview too. Thanks for all your efforts for Renn, you are a star.

  6. I will need to read this one. . .I’m writing a chapter book on a hedgehog! Perfect for the Fall season. Time to make cranberry sauce. . .

  7. Enjoyed this post — I do love foxes, rabbits, hedgehogs and cranberries so was delighted to hear about the book and read your interview with Laurel.

    Thanks for the update on Renn!

  8. Thank you, Erik…how special to have author Laurel share some insight into her fantastic picture book AND the Seattle Farmer’s Market. Buying local and in season food is not too easy in plces like New Hampshire because of the short growing season…but I do try.:) I love the activities – and I’m glad you gave us a double review…this sounds like an awesome series.:)
    Congratulations on your fundraising efforts, Erik!

  9. Just goes to show ~ even a fox and a rabbit can be friends. Great post, Erik.

  10. Nice. I like the illustrations and the interview image. Someone is very talented. The story sounds cute

  11. Thanks for the update on Renn. I’ll send him a big slurp! I like these Fox and Rabbit books. They look pretty cute. Nice interview to go along with. Thanks for sharing, Erik!

  12. I think this is a great Thanksgiving season book. I just stocked up on cranberries yesterday and am ready to make muffins. Thanks Erik!

  13. All of us are hoping for a complete recovery for Renn!

    Thank you for the wonderfully fun interview Erik… Fox has finally settled down (He becomes a little nervous about interviews) enough to read the delightful responses. : )

  14. Thank you Erik for sharing this fun book and also for the lovely interview. Love the friendship theme!

  15. This sounds charming. I’ve been reading as many “friendship” themed PBs as possible lately because I’m working on a manuscript with a friendship theme. Thanks for a great review and interview!

  16. These books sound like such fun! What a great interview. 🙂 I love when books have recipes in them to try.

  17. Erik, this was an excellent review, and the interview was terrific! I love what you’re doing to help Renn, and I also love the fact that you love picture books 🙂 No one should EVER outgrow them, no matter their age 😀

  18. Looks like a very cute book with a nice message, Erik! I loved the title of that other one – Rabbitless Stew 🙂 And fun to have the interview too!

  19. We don’t have as much cranberries in this part of the world, Erik, so I read the post with great interest. Very nice!

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