Check It Out: ‘Stranger’ a lovely woodland tale



"Stranger in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy"

By Carl R. Sams; Carl R. Sams II Photography, unpaged

“Stranger in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy”

By Carl R. Sams; Carl R. Sams II Photography, unpaged

The other morning as I was getting ready for work, I looked out the window and spotted three female deer in our yard. It wasn’t completely light yet, so they appeared to be shadowy shapes moving through fruit trees, sometimes bounding playfully, sometimes pausing at the sound of cars driving past.

This is one of the things I enjoy most about living away from the hustle and bustle of the city — being able to experience special moments with local wildlife.Seeing the trio of does making their way through the half-lit morning reminded me about one of my favorite picture books, “Stranger in the Woods.” It’s been out for a while now — first published in 2000 — but it continues to delight me and many others with its wonderful photographs and sweet message of sharing. The “stranger” in the story is a snowman who suddenly appears in the woods. This isn’t a magical snowman who can sing and dance like Frosty, but his presence is nothing short of magical to the woodland creatures who decide to get acquainted with their new neighbor. He’s not very noisy, and he’s chilly to the touch, but it doesn’t take long for birds, deer, mice and other furry critters to discover their silent friend’s generosity.

A doe and her fawn decide that his carrot nose is quite delicious while birds and mice heartily approve of seeds and nuts adorning his white coat.

All the while the snowman appears happy to share his bounty with all of his new friends.

Wildlife photographers Carl R. Sams and Jean Stoick have created a truly beautiful book perfect for sharing with little ones and animal lovers alike. As we celebrate the holidays this year, take some time to cherish your loved ones.

Reading “Stranger in the Woods” is a way to remind all of us how important it is to share special memories together and just how precious life truly is.

Jan Johnston is the Collection Development Coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. Email her at