The Adam Raccoon books are a series written and illustrated by Glen Keane, published by Chariot Books (David C. Cook Publishing Co.).


If at read-aloud time my grandchildren go to the shelves for one of their own favorites, they are most likely to return with an Adam Raccoon book. The best in the series, Forever Falls and Lost Woods, are cliff-hangers, giving the thespian in me full scope for dramatic exaggeration. The stories use Adam's adventures to illustrate principles of Christian living. Adam himself pictures a child of God, and His friend and father-figure, King Aren the lion, pictures Jesus. Forever Falls is an imaginative retelling of Jesus' death to win our salvation. Lost Woods teaches the necessity of following Jesus in our daily lives. All the other books in the series have their merits, especially The Flying Machine, another favorite of my grandchildren. The only one I cannot recommend is The Mighty Giant, which is not only weak in its story line, but also objectionable in its conclusion, which represents the rejoicing over the salvation of a lost soul as an ordinary party with worldly dancing.

The author of the series is the son of Bil Keane, creator of the nationally syndicated cartoon Family Circus. The son also has had a distinguished career as a cartoonist, serving as a directing animator at Walt Disney and playing a major role in producing many of the best Disney films. As a result, he is now regarded as one of the world's leading animators. His expertise is evident in the outstanding plotting and pacing of the stories, as well as in his choice of scenes to illustrate the dramatic moments. The drawings have a sketchy, even unfinished, appearance, perhaps corresponding to the stage of completion required of his work for Disney. There, other artists have been available to supply the finishing touches.


Adam Raccoon at Forever Falls (1987)

Adam Raccoon in Lost Woods (1987)

Adam Raccoon and the Circus Master (1987)

Adam Raccoon and the Flying Machine (1989)

Adam Raccoon and the Mighty Giant (1989)

Adam Raccoon and the King's Big Dinner (1991)

Adam Raccoon and the Race to Victory Mountain (1993)

Adam Raccoon and Billy Garumph (1995); coauthor, Kathy Davis


Beginning in 1995, three books in the series, First Adam Raccoon, were published by Chariot Books: Cookie Time: A First Lesson in Obedience; Follow the King: A First Lesson in Trust; and Parables for Little Kids. These are one-page efforts, driving home a single idea for the benefit of very small children. The covers give prominence to Keane's name, but in fact others were instrumental in putting out these books. Joe Yakovetic did the illustrations, and the cowriter of the third in the series was Samii Taylor.


All are out-of-print, but new and used copies of most titles are still available, though the starting price in some cases is over $50. Most can be obtained much more cheaply.


Ages 2-7.