The Lore of Hazel Village – FAQ Part One

Hello, friends! We recently asked you to send us any questions you had about the Hazel Village animals’ lives and customs. We received many excellent questions – more than would fit in a single blog post! This is Part One, and we will be sharing Part Two next month. Please feel free to reach out to us anytime if you think of new questions to ask. We are so happy that you are interested in learning more about the woodland friends and their peaceful home, and we will endeavor to share what we know about their cheerful and industrious lives in the forest. As you read, keep in mind that much of the animals' world is still a mystery – even to us.


How did Hazel Village come to be? Where did the animals come from? Did the animals settle there, or did they build it?

The origin of Hazel Village is a mystery! It exists in a secret corner of the forest, tucked away from the human world we know. Similarly, the animals don’t really have origin stories – as far as we know, they have always been themselves and always lived peacefully in their forest home. 

As for the buildings, you can think of it this way: if children have playhouses and such, they don’t dwell on where they may have come from. In Hazel Village, some buildings have been around forever while others are more recent. There was a time when Lucas Rabbit slept in a trundle bed alongside his big sister Zoe, but at some point the animals built him his own little house. When Arthur Lamb moved into Hazel Village for good, Lucas and his friends built Arthur a cottage right next door.  

Jane completed a new full-color illustration of the Hazel Village map in 2023. You can see the full map here.

Does Jane’s map show all of Hazel Village?

Jane’s map shows all of Hazel Village proper, but the exact boundaries of the animals’ home extends a little bit past the edges. You could walk northward, into the foothills of some mountains, or westward, further into the forest, and still be in their bubble. Thimbleberry Island is hidden off the map, in the middle of the lake which forms the southern border of the Village. To the northeast, you can see part of River Road – this is a human road which runs alongside a grassy bank at the edge of the woods, marking the Village’s eastern border. 

For a detailed tour of the Hazel Village map and descriptions of all the key landmarks, see our blog post here


What woodlands in North America does Hazel Village most closely resemble?

The woodlands that are found in Amwell Valley, New Jersey (nearby where Jane grew up).


What do the animals know about the world outside Hazel Village? 

The animals know nothing about our human world, but they sometimes hear things from other animals about faraway places. When Tillie Goose visited, she told them about things she had seen while flying south for the winter – like sunlight sparkling over ocean waves, and a huge field of mysterious wildflowers.


Do the residents of Hazel Village ever travel elsewhere?

The residents of Hazel Village are not particularly interested in traveling elsewhere. The animals’ cozy homes are a great joy to them, and the fields and forests surrounding the Village hold all the adventures they could dream of. They are quite content!   

The only place that some Villagers regularly visit outside the borders of their home is a nearby farm. Flora Fox and Nicholas Bear Cub, and sometimes Max Raccoon, will take Nicholas’s wagon to the farm to acquire eggs, milk, and wool by way of bartering shiny trinkets and choice nuts from the forest. They deal directly with the farm animals – much the best way to go about these things – and return home with their haul tucked into the wagon (which is full of bracken and moss for cushioning). Then they make butter and tasty cheese to share with all their friends. 


Are any of the animals related? Do they have other family members elsewhere?

Emma and Penelope Rabbit are twin sisters. Zoe and Lucas Rabbit are siblings – Zoe is older. Reginald and Owen Fox are cousins. Aside from these pairs, none of the other animals who live in Hazel Village are related. Whether or not they may have relations elsewhere in the world is a mystery!

Emma Rabbit loves making up dances for May Day. Penelope Rabbit loves working on indoor crafts, like stringing beads.


What language do the Villagers speak?

An interesting question! We presume they speak English, but we’re not really sure; maybe they are communicating to one another in sophisticated snuffles.


Do the animals have birthdays?

Not as far as we know – however, they certainly would not turn down any opportunity to have a celebratory party. 

You can download these printable doll-size party hats and  birthday banner in our craft blog here.


Do the Villagers have currency?

The Villagers operate on a gift economy – that is, lots of giving each other nice presents and trusting in the abundance of sharing. Sometimes they also barter for things, like when Flora and Nicholas visit the farm. 

What sort of technology do the Villagers have?

Not much! Think farmhouse, pre-electric. The animals’ homes are lit by sunlight through their windows in the daytime, and by lantern light at night. Nicholas considers his little red wagon to be pretty high-tech, though, and Lewis Toad says the same thing about his wood-fired kiln.


Where do visiting animals come from? Are there other villages somewhere? 

Hazel Village is unique in its region. If there is anything like it elsewhere in the world, that’s a mystery to us. Some animals who visit the Village simply happen upon it and decide to stay for a while. Other animals hear about it in their travels, and decide to make the trip to meet the woodland friends. Animals who visit are mostly nomads; they each very much enjoy their stay, but ultimately want to keep on traveling and having adventures elsewhere. 

Marnie Chicken is currently visiting Hazel Village. You can meet previous limited-edition visitors in our Guest Book


Where do the kid dollies live? Do they spend time with the animal friends?

Jane imagines that the human friends live somewhere close by to Hazel Village, in a similar landscape – maybe across the lake– and that they are all part of a public library reading group together. Their proximity to Hazel Village means that some magical energy makes its way to them and influences their adventures, projects, and love of nature. Officially, the world of the animals is a secret from the human world. However, the kid dollies have wonderful imaginations that allow them to travel wherever they want to go, so anything is possible!

Meet the dollies here! 


That's all for now, friends! Thank you for reading. 

Questions? Feel free to email us at! 

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Postcard Art Retrospective

The Animals' Holidays and Festivities

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