A somewhat oblique tale about how sharing/love/goodwill towards your fellow man leads to an increase in even more sharing/love/goodwill. Adapted from the Russion of a one V. Suteyev, this soggy tale follows a small ant in the rain. When the sky begins to pour, the little ant has only just enough room to fit under a tiny mushroom. Soon, more and more creatures arrive to take refuge under the fungus. Finally, the animals band together to hide a rabbit from a hungry fox, making their toil well worth the effort. As the rain abates, the little ant ponders why it is that the mushroom was able to accommodate so many woodland creatures, and he learns a little about what mushrooms do in the rain.
The story is illustrated by the talented Jose Aruego (of "Leo the Late Bloomer" fame) and is rather amusing. Colorful too, in a sense, though nothing compared to "Leo". Aruego has a good sense of humor. As each animal or insect crawls under the mushroom, we are privy to a montage of different positions and poses as the other creatures move about to accommodate him/her. This is especially amusing when the fox inspects the mushroom's inhabitants for its bunny prey. He pokes and prods and even goes so far as to lift the entire mushroom onto one side (with the rabbit cleverly ensconced on the other). I was half expecting this story to turn out like so many other animals-trying-to-fit-in-a-small-space books. Usually this kind of story would end with the mushroom exploding into a million pieces with all the animals getting wet. Not so here. I give author Ginsburg/Suteyev a lot of credit for not taking the easy ending on this tale. It's much easier to end a story with a big ole explosion than with a quiet understated moral. All in all, successful.