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Whitefoot: A Story from the Center of the World

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3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  130 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Whitefoot is a field mouse, a small creature with “elegant whiskers” and a “reddish brindly tan” coat. She lives within a cozy enclave of family at the edge of the woods, where she knows, without a doubt, that she exists at the center of her world. What she doesn’t know is that not far from her safe haven there is a house, and a river, a world of such size and magnitude th ...more
Paperback, 64 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Counterpoint (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 219)
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Lynn
Apr 01, 2009 Lynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I should begin by saying Berry is in the top five of my favorite authors, poets, essayists. I was intrigued to see that he was entering the children's lit field with this title. However, I didn't quite get the point of publishing this as it is. It feels more like a writing exercise than a finished work. It's gentle storytelling -- but a little too gentle perhaps, meaning I came away wondering what he was trying to say. If Berry wants to take a whack at children's books, surely he can apply his u ...more
Naomi
Nov 11, 2013 Naomi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
A charming children's story of a mouse through a storm. There are a lot of bird species named in this - so families can spend time looking at flood plain ecologies in the American midwest and south and identifying all the other animals named in this tale as a follow-up activity.
Adriel
May 28, 2014 Adriel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
This little book is written in stunning beauty. The words are elegant and though the story is short and simple, it feels rich. Though the story is one about a mouse caught in a flood, it does not resort to anthropomorphism, which is refreshing, and still managed to capture my 5 year old's attention and interest. I was worried that since it had no dragons or wizards or hero's with swords he would not be interested, but he quietly listened and talked about it the next day.
Linda
Found at the bookstore where I volunteer, it's a surprise story of a mouse and her survival by the poet Wendell Berry. His poetry is wonderful, but I didn't know about this lovely story, illustrated in pencil sketches. It's told from the POV of the mouse, showing the needs and abilities of a mouse, with little anthropomorphism. It would make a good mentor text for older students who might research the ways of an animal, and write them into a story.
Rachel Johnson
Feb 13, 2016 Rachel Johnson rated it it was amazing
Beautifully crafted, deep and enriching as always with Wendell Berry.
Josh
Aug 25, 2010 Josh rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Rich
What a neat story. I love that Whitefoot is part of the Port William Membership. Rather anticlimatic ending, but fitting when you think about Berry's themes. This is well worth the quick read. Berry's descriptions of the local flora and fauna, and narrative voice are spectacular. Davis Te Selle's illustrations alone make the book worth purchasing. I got a nice used hardcover on Amazon.com for about 7 bucks. A sweet deal for a beautiful book.
Adam
Jan 01, 2009 Adam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ennnh. As much as I love Berry's adult fiction, this doesn't really work. The book is just what we usually get when a talented novelist trundles into kid lit terrain without bothering to study the juvenilia classics and what makes them successful. That is, Whitefoot is pleasant but insignificant and instantly forgettable.
Robyn
Oct 07, 2009 Robyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this would be sort of an adult version of Miss Bianca, the lovely woodcuts also an adult version of the Garth Williams illustrations. But alas it was not. A good story that swept me right up but such a quick ending, disappointing. A beautiful moment that should have been more than just a moment.
Jaime
Dec 30, 2013 Jaime rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My goodness, Wendell. I was terrified for this little mouse.
Caroline
Dec 25, 2013 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Never give a book you haven't read. Also, Port Williams from every perspective, including a mouse.
Karissa
Jan 27, 2013 Karissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful children's book, beautiful illustrations! Quite an adventure for a little mouse that gets caught in a flood. I want to read more Wendell Berry.
James
Aug 11, 2010 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, children
Only Wendell Berry could write a children's book with an agrarian perspective :-)

Our children really enjoyed the book and the illustrations!
Beth
Nov 10, 2009 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A tender story for a quiet moment; this let me be a small creature for a wee bit of time, and see the view from the "center of the world."
Bill
Aug 23, 2009 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I read this when it was published as a story in Orion magazine. It is a great little story about perspective and world view...
Laura
A quiet tale with beautiful illustrations. Good choice for a bedtime story or read aloud to shift to a more reflective mood.
Macaria Corbett
Mar 15, 2013 Macaria Corbett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one's a children's story. As far as I know it is the first one this author has written.
Very enjoyable.
Mark
Dec 16, 2014 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mark by: Sara Q Thompson
Shelves: fiction
Read: 1-2 Aug 2009. Excellent for all ages! Gift from Sara that she brought me from ALA.
Ron
May 25, 2011 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: elementary
simple story about a mouse that even an elementary school child could read and enjoy
Jennifer
Oct 05, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely story, simple but with profound truths nestled throughout.
Jeff
Dec 25, 2008 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful, gentle, beautifully illustrated book for all ages.
Bonnie
Jun 14, 2011 Bonnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No matter what age you are this book is good!
Susan Bray
Susan Bray marked it as to-read
Aug 10, 2016
Dave Anderson
Dave Anderson marked it as to-read
Aug 05, 2016
Erika Morris
Erika Morris marked it as to-read
Aug 01, 2016
Laura Lander
Laura Lander rated it it was amazing
Jul 05, 2016
Jana
Jana marked it as to-read
Jul 03, 2016
Carrie Niemi
Carrie Niemi marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2016
Joey
Joey rated it liked it
Jun 24, 2016
Terry
Terry added it
Jun 01, 2016
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Wendell Berry is a conservationist, farmer, essayist, novelist, professor of English and poet. He was born August 5, 1934 in Henry County, Kentucky where he now lives on a farm. The New York Times has called Berry the "prophet of rural America."
More about Wendell Berry...

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