Looking for Peppermint: Or Life in the Forest

by Maxwell Eaton (Author)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

A young girl shares stories and facts about the woods near her home while catching up with her mischievous dog, Peppermint.

When her dog Peppermint wanders off, this little girl isn't too worried; they both know their way around the woods. On her way to find Peppermint, she regales us with stories and information about the area, from encounters with spiny porcupines and protective mother coyotes all the way back to the mile-thick glaciers that shaped the landscape. Parts of the story are highlighted with art-within-art glimpses of the girl's journal, where she's captured her exploits in drawings.

Author-illustrator Maxwell Eaton is back with another genre-bending picture book full of fun facts and witty asides. Detailed illustrations bring wild critters to life and keep the reader guessing what's next. Any young reader with an interest in science and the natural world will want to hike out into the forest with Peppermint and her humans.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

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Kirkus Reviews

Ambitious and engrossing, this field guide may inspire young readers to do some wandering of their own.

Horn Book Magazine

A mix of the informative and the homey . . . visually inviting and intellectually stimulating.


A sweet pick for blossoming naturalists.

Publishers Weekly

A child searching for a lost pup named Peppermint treats readers to an educational forest tour in Eaton's informative comic, which, per an author's note, draws inspiration from experiences in the Adirondack Mountains. Cartoon-style pen and ink, pencil, and watercolor renderings kick off the outing among white pines before moving on to encompass other woody species, as well as discussions of regional history and animals including porcupines, owls, and coyotes. Throughout, the pale-skinned narrator breaks up the hike with hand-drawn panels that recount funny family anecdotes. Meanwhile, the elusive dog pops up on each page to wryly comment on the protagonist's observations via thought bubbles. When at last the search achieves its end, there's a surprise discovery for the child, who concludes, "Well, thanks for walking with me. I always see something special when a friend comes along." Brief back matter concludes. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)

Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Maxwell Eaton
Maxwell Eaton III wrote and illustrated Bear Builds a House and Bear Goes Sugaring, which received three starred reviews, as well as the The Truth About series, Seriously Funny Facts About Your Favorite Animals. This series includes The Truth About Dolphins, The Truth About Hippos, The Truth About Elephants and The Truth About Bears, which received multiple starred reviews. He lives in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State with his partner and two children.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Neal Porter Books
Publication date
February 06, 2024
BISAC categories
JUV039140 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
JUV029010 - Juvenile Fiction | Nature & the Natural World | Environment
JUV032170 - Juvenile Fiction | Sports & Recreation | Camping & Outdoor Activities
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Forest animals
Adirondack Mountains (N.Y.)
Forests and forestry
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

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