Cam's Quest: Dian Curtis Regan
Sunday Afternoon Visits: April 8

Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend: Melanie Watt

I absolutely loved the Cybils-winning picture book Scaredy Squirrel, by Melanie Watt. I can't tell you how thrilled I am to report that Scaredy Squirrel is back with a sequel. And it's even better than the first book. In Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend, our neurotic young friend gradually comes to realize that spending all of his time alone up in a tree is perhaps not the most fun that life has to offer. He sets out on a mission to make a friend, though the friend who he ends up with is not quite the one that he expected.

This book has all of the attributes that worked in the first book, strong line drawings, expressive icons, and a mix of full-page and smaller inset panels. The icons include a variety of individuals who might be biters, and hence are not promising friend material (including Godzilla and bunnies). The activities that Scaredy Squirrel undertakes by himself to pass the time include knitting and chatting with a sock puppet. The "perfect friend" that he identifies has various safe attributes (including being germ-free, with the same germ icons from the previous book). And Scaredy Squirrel's plan for making a perfect first impression is hilarious. "Make sure name tag is visible." "Wear mittens to hide sweaty paws." And so on.   

Don't you love a book that makes you laugh? Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend made me laugh out loud on nearly every page. I think that the funniest was Scaredy's Risk Test for potential friends, including incisive questions like "What's your hobby? Biting or other."

Oh, I'm simply in love with this book. Parents will like it because it's well-constructed, with engaging pictures and entertaining text. Kids will like it because they'll be able to relate to Scaredy's fears, while feeling superior due to not being quite so fearful themselves. If you know any kids about to start Kindergarten, or about to enter any environment where they'll be meeting new people, you simply must buy them this book.

Book: Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend
Author: Melanie Watt
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Original Publication Date: March 2007
Pages: 32
Age Range: 4-8
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
Other Blog Reviews: Big A little a

© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.