In honor of the Mélanie Watt Blog Tour, I present a Scaredy Squirrel Thursday Three — which is totally perfect given that there are three books in the series at the present time. On today’s schedule are kids’ questions for Scaredy at Metrowest News and questions about Watt’s writing at Hip Librarian’s Book Blog. Yesterday there was a fantastic interview over at Jen Robinson’s space. Of course, tomorrow, I bring us all back to basics with my WhoWhatWhenWhyWhereHow line of questioning. Maybe I should go with the sock puppets. Hmm. Anyway, here’s your Scaredy Squirrel picture book extravaganza.
Poor little squirrel. Never leaves his nut tree because he’s scared of the unknown. He’ s afraid of all sorts of things, even if they don’t make much sense — like sharks and green Martians. He stays safe in his tree with his same routine and his preparations for the unexpected and nothing ever changes. Until one day, it does. This book was our Cybils winner last year, and for good reason. It combines great storytelling and illustrations with a light message. It’s a book that works on many levels and for a large age range. Kids can see themselves in Scaredy in being afraid of new things, but the moral is handled lightly and with humor. A perfect book.
Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend
Sequels are hard to evaluate. Should there be a totally fresh insight with the new title, or should it develop the character along the previous storyline? Tricky. I’d put this book in the latter category. Scaredy has branched out some, but not enough yet to make a friend. That’s scary. A squirrel could get bitten! From his tree Scaredy identifies the perfect friend — who is clean, quiet, and safe. And maybe a little boring. With full preparations, Scaredy heads out to make a friend. But on the way to introduce himself to the goldfish he’s spotted, he encounters a messy, loud, rambunctious dog! Ahhhhh!!! Another great book that addresses children’s fears about making friends and trying new things with the help of a funny, lovable character.
Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach
Okay, now the squirrel’s getting all crazy. He’s left his tree, he’s made a friend, and now he’s going to the beach? Daring! Well, maybe not at first. He doesn’t like the crowds, so he tries to build his own beach with kitty litter, a wading pool, and a plastic flamingo. It’s good, true, but is missing the soothing sound of the ocean. Where can you get the sound of the sea? Yes, by the sea, but also from those perfect seashells that you hold up to your ear. Of course to get one, you have to go to the beach. With full preparations, Scaredy heads out to make his own beach perfect, but he didn’t plan for all the people. Oh, the crowds! Can he find his way through this terrifying situation? I think the suspense may be gone at this point, but the story and message are still well crafted with lots of humor.