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Kids' Activities

Jane Lind presents ...

Cedar Glen Secret

Written by Sandra Margaret Maitland
Illustrated by Linda Leon

Theme: The Ecosystem, Ages 7 to 10

Cedar Glen Secret

Cathy's favourite place at her Aunt Amy's farm was the forest. Each July when she went to visit, Cathy went for long walks and had picnic lunches in the cedar glen.

One day she discovered that her oatmeal cookie was missing from her lunch, and she thought a squirrel took it. But when she tried to find the squirrel, she discovered something else instead: a whole community of tiny people living in a stump.

To be sure of what she saw, she came back after dark with a flashlight, and she had her first conversation with Wiley, one of the Snippets. The Snippets were afraid of her and Wiley was not sure if he could trust her, so he gave her a riddle. She found the answer, so Wiley felt she was trust worthy and Cathy kept secret her discovery of the Snippets. But more than that, when the cedar glen and the Snippets were threatened, Cathy managed to save them.

This is a story that capitalizes on the common childhood fantasy of a diminutive people. At the same time, without being heavy handed, the author has created a situation that can be read as a parable in which the characters, with some thought, can avoid harm to the environment.


1. Why do you think Wiley felt he could trust Cathy, even before he gave her the riddle?

2. Are there any other answers to the riddle?

3. Why did Cathy work so hard to find honey for Wiley?

4. Why do large parts of our forests become destroyed?

5. Would we cut down as much of our forests if we used only what we need to survive instead of trying to make lots of money?


Go for a walk around where you live and look for ways people are helping or hurting the environment. Write up a class report of what you found out, and send it to your local newspaper. The children can make pictures of what they saw to include with the article.

from the
Theme Catalogue and Teaching Guide for Children's Books
written for Penumbra Press by Jane Lind
© Jane Lind

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