The Lonely Toadstool: A Children’s Books About New Friends That Come as We Find Our Voice is a celebration of growth that begins with Kristin Addington Culpepper's depiction of isolation ("One toadstool stood all alone on the forest floor."). This grows to embrace the world when a lonely toadstool's cry of despair reaches a host of forest creatures that all put down their busy tasks to answer his call.
Anyone who has been lonely or isolated, and any child who has felt the pain of such, will find The Lonely Toadstool a study in how to be a friend as well as how to accept and interact with others.
Gorgeous illustrations by Ruthie Arthur illustrate how a myriad of fanciful creatures and forest animals embark on a search for the source of that lonely whimper, determined to help.
Through the lonely toadstool's feelings and reactions, children learn the importance of expressing emotion, asking for help, setting boundaries, and being more inclusive in their friendships. They also learn how to be givers via the example of these disparate forest friends who come together to answer a call of need.
The importance of this lovely message, well-paired with the equally lovely forest illustrations which represent whimsy with a colorful flair, makes The Lonely Toadstool a top pick for discriminating read-aloud parents and elementary-level libraries looking for explorations of emotions for the very young.
The top-notch combination of simple subject and supportive reflections on friendships makes for a tale that all ages (including adults) can learn from. Ideally, The Lonely Toadstool will also be used in discussion groups with kids to explore themes of isolation, friendship, giving, and cooperative efforts.
- Midwest Book Review, D. Donovan
(Senior Reviewer & Donovan's Literary Services Editor)