When Chippy Chipmunk meets a unique chipmunk, he learns to feel empathy and show kindness. In Chippy’s first encounter with Harriet, she explains that a flood destroyed her burrow, so she is searching for a new place to dig. She asks for help, but Chippy refuses and chases her away. He is preoccupied with his goal of having a record-setting day collecting acorns, and he is skeptical that the newcomer is a chipmunk since she has no stripes. Chippy’s friends show him that there is diversity in every species. ＂Diversity makes the world more beautiful,＂ a blue peacock tells Chippy. ＂My friend and I may look different on the outside, but inside we are the same,＂ adds a peacock that is an all-white variety.
Chippy’s friends help him to understand empathy and the need to show compassion. Chippy imagines what it would be like to be other wildlife. He thoughtfully observes other creatures. He pretends to be like them and echoes their calls as a way to develop empathy. He pictures himself in Harriet’s situation. The light of a new day gives Chippy a fresh beginning. Feeling empathy changes his heart. He helps Harriet build a new burrow and shares his acorns with her. The two become friends.
Like the other three books in this award-winning series, this one is illustrated with photography and fun facts are included. Diversity is celebrated with photographs of nature and of farm and domestic animals. This book contains notes on how to develop empathy.