An important reminder about not taking people for granted, blended beautifully with that quirkiest of holidays makes for a charming and hilarious book in Groundhog’s Day Off by Robb Pearlman & illustrated by Brett Helquist.
Most adults my age think of the Bill Murray move when they think of Groundhog Day — and now children have something just as funny (although wildly more age-appropriate) to think of when this bizarro holiday rolls around every year. (I mean, really? Who came up with Groundhog Day???)
In Groundhog’s Day Off, we see the Groundhog finally have ENOUGH: enough of being asked the same old question every year about an early spring; enough of being ignored beyond his prediction. He feels unloved and uncared for; all anybody wants is his weather forecast. But what about him? The groundhog behind the forecast?
Well, the Groundhog has finally had enough and leaves for a luxurious spa vacation — and that’s when people realize how much they needed him! The lesson of not taking people for granted is easy to grasp when readers see what lengths the townspeople will go to when Groundhog leaves them.
Charming illustrations imbued with rich details and emotion bring this funny and sweet story to life. The Groundhog has a brilliant personality, and it shines through in the images that capture his little side-eyes and knowing smiles.
Groundhog’s Day Off is the full package: an important lesson, a funny story, and beautiful, charming illustrations to bring it all together. It is in stores now. Here is the official synopsis:
Every year, people ask Groundhog the same, boring old question. Is spring around the corner? Or are we doomed to more winter? Sure, they care about his shadow, but what about him and his interests? He’s had enough! Groundhog packs his bags and sets out for a much-needed vacation.
Now the town is holding auditions to find someone to fill his spot. None of the animals seem right for the job, though. Not Elephant, not Ostrich, and most certainly not Puppy. No one has Groundhog’s flair for the dramatic, but is it too late to woo him back into the spotlight?
With a fresh take on a familiar event and bold, lively illustrations, this hilarious picture book will leave readers wishing it was Groundhog’s Day year-round.