Groundhog Roundup III: Gregory Groundhog Predicts the Weather by Bruce Koscielniak
Bruce Koscielniak takes a humorous look at the media in his spoof of groundhog hoopla in his picture book Geoffrey Groundhog Predicts the Weather.
Sure, Geoffrey Groundhog listened to his mother's advice about what to do on February 2. But when nobody shows up to get his opinion of the big day (no more winter!) Geoffrey takes it to another level, trotting down to the Mooseflats County Daily Gazette to pitch his weather report to the editor. When the newspaper headlines his prediction and its readers rejoice in the return of spring, Geoffrey becomes the darling of the media. His smiling face is featured on billboards and the sides of buses, advertising everything from toothpaste to Groundhog Brand Jogging Shoes. "Predicting the weather is easy," Geoffrey brags.
When the next winter rolls around, Daily Gazette editor Merton Moose lines up full media coverage for Geoffrey's Going Out event. Merchants proclaim Groundhog Day sales, television cameras and lights are set up around his burrow, and crowds of citizens gather with pom poms and signs to welcome Geoffrey's appearance.
Unfortunately, Geoffrey's clock doesn't go off in the morning, and when he awakens late, he is so discombobulated by the blaze of lights and camera flashes when he appears that he can't tell whether he has a shadow or not. The Daily Gazette has to run a disappointing headline in its morning edition:
GROUNDHOG DOESN'T HAVE A CLUE!
Spinning the belated event like the media maven he is, Geoffrey promises a prediction at an afternoon press conference, where he confidently predicts six more weeks of winter. When interviewed about the basis of his belated prediction, however, Geoffrey has to confess that he consulted an expert. "I called my mom," he admits.
Koscielniak's spoof of the media hype around Punxsutawney Phil's annual appearance is ably assisted by his ink and watercolor illustrations of the small town media guys and the scenic snowy surroundings of Mooseflats County.