Duane Lawrence lives in Vancouver, Canada, where he teaches high school French and enjoys regular walks in beautiful Stanley Park.
It was during one leisurely stroll in the park that he decided to write about the animals that live there. Duane also taught English in central Japan for nine years and was a high school French teacher in London, England for one year. Besides English, Duane speaks French and Japanese.
When best friends Sammy Squirrel and Rodney Raccoon decide to explore the world beyond their home of Stanley Park in Vancouver, an adventure is what they are after and it is certainly what they get. Swept out to sea in a little boat, the woodland creatures embark on an unexpected journey to a mysterious new land. Their courage and ingenuity tested every step of the way, Sammy and Rodney are introduced to exciting new friends like Salty Seagull, Winifred Whale and a shy deer called Shika, who takes them to her home in the new land where they help resolve a crisis they never expected to encounter.
In this second Stanley Park Tale, Sammy Squirrel and Rodney Raccoon, intent on finding their 'crow-napped' bird friend Judy, leave the safety of their park home to search for her in the big, busy city of Vancouver. Encouraged by old park friends like Renee Rabbit and Squirty Skunk, the two woodland creatures step boldly into the unknown. Finding themselves in the heart of the city at the underground Animal Inn and facing mystery and uncertainty at every turn, Sammy and Rodney get help from new friends Ferdinand Fox and Mortimer Mole. The two park dwellers' courage and determination are sharply tested as the search for Judy Crow becomes more challenging than they ever could have imagined.
Resource Links Magazine about "Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - A Stanley Park Tale"
Lawrence has created a wonderful community of animals that live in Stanley Park, Vancouver. After a close encounter with people and pets, Sammy Squirrel and Rodney Raccoon decide they are going to leave the safety of the park and set off on an adventure. Their adventure removes them far from the safety of their community; the novel follows them as they head out into the ocean, and eventually end up in Japan. Along the way they are helped by many different animal friends, including Winifred Whale, Penelope Pigeon and Judy Crow.
Young readers will enjoy the gentle fictional world that Duane Lawrence has created in this short novel. The novel is well-paced for younger readers, and the clear text is interspersed with lively black and white illustrations. The short chapters are ideal for readers embarking on their first chapter book, but all students with an interest in wildlife or environmental issues will enjoy this novel. The story also works well as a read-aloud, particularly when introducing a unit with environmental or community themes to a class.
Taken from: Resource Links Magazine - Volume 13, #4.
Written by: Claire Hazzard
Resource Links Magazine about "Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - To The Rescue"
In this second Stanley Park adventure, Sammy Squirrel and his best pal Rodney Raccoon embark on a trek to the thriving city of Vancouver in search of their neighbour and friend, Judy Crow. Judy was last seen being carried out of the park by two other large crows, and the other Stanley Park animals fear that she has been "crow-napped." Sammy and Rodney follow clues that lead them to the historic Sylvia Hotel in greater Vancouver - a city that up to now they have been very curious about, but which seemed an impossible feat to reach. Along the way, the two friends encounter several other neighbours, such as Renee Rabbit and Squirty Skunk. In addition, they meet and befriend several new characters who help to bring home the uplifting message of the value of kindness and sensitivity to others.
Hidden behind the Sylvia Hotel, Sammy and Rodney discover the underground Animal Inn, run by the very helpful Fernando Fox. They rent a room, and then seek out to explore the corridors with the hope of finding Judy. The further they delve into the maze of tunnels, the more adventure and danger they encounter, until they are finally able to rescue their friend. Their escapades are not over yet, however, as they still have to make it all the way back home to their beloved Stanley Park!
This beginning chapter book, featuring beautifully done pencil drawings by Gordon Clover, is an absolute treasure. The woodland creatures are brought to life in such a heartwarming and genuine way, they are irresistible. With any luck, another witty story featuring the courageous Sammy and Rodney is in the works, since this is definitely one that readers could quite likely cherish forever! Highly recommended for children aged 7 - 10, or anyone who is young at heart!
Written by: Nicole Rowlinson
Midwest Book Review about "Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - To The Rescue"
Is the second Stanley Park story written as a starter chapter novel for young readers ages 7 -12. Sammy Squirrel and Rodney Raccoon are worried about their friend Judy Crow, who has gone missing from the park. The two book-loving friends bravely embark on an adventurous trek to rescue their crow-napped friend, which ends up taking them to a large city, Vancouver. Short, action-packed, descriptively rich chapters punctuated by charming, detailed black and white illustrations keep reader interest high and make "Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - To The Rescue" an ideal beginning chapter book read, especially for adventurous nature lovers. In Vancouver, Sammy and Rodney face many challenges and find unexpected help from new friends, Mortimer Mole and Fernando Fox. After many twists and turns, the friends rescue Judy Crow, and all ends well back at Stanley Park. There are many delicious little touches of humourous detail, such as the two friends chatty coffee at the Argyle Cafe, where they order hazelnut coffee and polite clam chowder. "Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - To The Rescue" is a delightful, appealing book filled with real, quirky characters and solid friendship values, which can be read aloud to children quite successfully.
Midwest Book Review, Oregon, WI, USA
"I loved Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - this witty novel about the escapades of two adventurous animals from Stanley Park works just as well for adults as it does for kids. Over the past few years we have sold several hundred copies and it's consistently one of our best selling children's titles."
Manager, Blackberry Books on Granville Island in Vancouver
OH, STANLEY PARK (SUNG TO THE TUNE OF O' CANADA)
Oh, Stanley Park
Our home and favourite land
Big Douglas Firs
Where owls hoot, oh so grand
With cedar trees
And surrounding seas
You can walk there all you like
There's a little lake
Where the beavers make
The best dams in the world
Oh, Stanley Park
The animals live free
Oh, Stanley Park
Was made for you and me
Oh, Stanley Park
Was made for