Children in the Woods

Photographer and author Carl Sams and his wife Jean Stoick have come out with a new book, Children in the Woodsa companion book to Stranger in the Woods and the third of their very popular children’s books to feature a white deer.  

Children in the Woods is about two sets of children: the two-legged kind (a boy and girl) who start a hike of exploration and discovery in a big woods, and the four-legged kind (a couple of fawns—one brown and one white), which they encounter on their walk.

But who is discovering whom? It’s the humans who begin the exploration, but by the end of the book, it is the fawns who are venturing out to discover a world that happens to include two human children.

This book is a treasure of photos for both adults and children, but the story behind the book is even more fascinating.

Sams and Stoick live near Milford, Michigan and close to Kensington Metropark, which is about 40 miles northwest of Detroit. In 2014 a white deer lived in the Milford and Kensington areas and was a favorite photo subject of Sams and park visitors.

When the white deer first appeared in Sams’ yard, he was delighted and amazed. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would find a white deer,” Sams said. Photos of this deer were used in a A Magical Winter, Sams’ first book about a white deer, and in its companion board book A Winter’s GiftChildren in the Woods includes photos of the same deer, but taken when it was a fawn.

Unfortunately, despite directions not to shoot the white deer, it was mistakenly killed in a 2015 herd cull at the park. The public outcry was all the louder because park officials, knowing this was not going to be well-received news, deliberately kept the kill a secret for four months.

Luckily for Sams, Stoick, and the community, a new white deer was born in 2017 in Kensington Park. Now grown, the white deer is again bringing both light and delight to the park and an opportunity for new photos. Perhaps even more Sams/Stoick books will be coming out in the future to educate young readers and their parents about the wonders of nature, and especially about the wonders of the white deer.

Note:  Click here to see an outstanding panorama and “sister” image of the Children in the Woods cover, and here to see a video of the adult white deer discovering you!.  Also, the Sams’ photography website has info on all the Sams/Stoick books, in addition to excellent wildlife photos for viewing and purchase.