Sunday, August 15, 2010
Book Review - Scaredy Squirrel
Author/Illustrator: Melanie Watt
Publisher: Kids Can Press Ltd (February 1, 2006)
Age Level: Ages 4 to 8
Source: Personal copy
Rating: 5 stars
Description from GoodReads:
Scaredy Squirrel never leaves his nut tree. It's way too dangerous out there. He could encounter tarantulas, green Martians or killer bees. But in his tree, every day is the same and if danger comes along, he's well-prepared. Scaredy Squirrel's emergency kit includes antibacterial soap, Band-Aids and a parachute. Day after day he watches and waits, and waits and watches, until one day ... his worst nightmare comes true! Scaredy suddenly finds himself out of his tree, where germs, poison ivy and sharks lurk. But as Scaredy Squirrel leaps into the unknown, he discovers something really uplifting ...
Recently, I discovered the work of Melanie Watt, an author & illustrator from Canada. There are some authors/illustrators that you enjoy one or two books or some that you enjoy the books but don't feel the compulsion to purchase. And then there are illustrators and authors like Watt who I want to own every one of their books.
Scaredy Squirrel is one of Watt's series. There are currently four books in this series and each book follows a similar format. All begin with a small warning on the inside cover. For the first one, it reminds readers to wash their hands before reading. Scaredy Squirrel is easily frightened by life outside of this tree. He is afraid of Martians, killer bees, poison ivy, tarantulas, and of course germs. His day is pretty much the same, with a minute by minute schedule but then one day something changes. A killer bee enters the tree and then the unexpected happens and Scaredy discovers something unique and special about himself.
The formulaic manner of the Scaredy Squirrel series is far from boring or annoying. For young readers, who love to have the same book read over and over again, this pattern will provide them with a sense of comfort and predictability. Scaredy's fears and the challenges that he faces can be an excellent place to begin discussing with youngsters how they can make changes or take risks. The illustrations in the book are simple but fun and bold at the same time.
Watt is a funny, creative, writer and illustrator and I encourage you to check out all of her books.
You can find out more about Melanie and her books here: http://melaniewatt.com/default.aspx
Mr. Shu - a school librarian in Indiana - did a animoto video featuring Scaredy Squirrel. You can check it out here: http://animoto.com/play/M4x2UKAO5TwNAGIYL6bX4Q
Enjoy and have fun reading a book,