A father has promised his son to go looking in the forest for a deer. They head out together in the early morning and climb the sand dune. At the marsh grass, they see an egret getting ready to take a sip of water. But not a deer in sight. Next they come across a man working in a bulldozer who has scared all the wildlife away.
The boy gets a bit restless but then tells himself that seeing a wild animal cannot be rushed. They scare a pheasant from his hiding place in the bushes, and then father and son are drenched with rain. But the payoff is worth the long trek; they see a mother deer and two fawns who prance through the green world and then disappear.
Writer Pat Lowery Collins has done a wonderful job conveying the intimacy of the father-son relationship and the wonder that arises in both of them when their quest of seeing a deer in the wild is fulfilled. While reading this mystical picture book for children ages 3 to 7 years, we were struck by how different the mood would have been if the father and son were hunting a deer for the boy's first kill. Instead we can savor the drama in the paintings by David Slonim and the magic spell they engender. Here is a deep spiritual appreciation of wonder. It is as if, the boy, says "our two worlds crossed for just a magic while."