Otis & Sydney and the Best Birthday Ever: Laura Numeroff
Happy Birthday, Big Bad Wolf: Frank Asch

Scaredy Squirrel Has A Birthday Party: Melanie Watt

Book: Scaredy Squirrel Has A Birthday Party
Author: Melanie Watt
Pages: 32
Age Range: 4 to 8

Cover Scaredy Squirrel is one of my favorite children's book characters. I reviewed Scaredy Squirrel and Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend, have given the Scaredy books many times as gifts, and even interviewed Melanie Watt about Scaredy once. I was extra-thrilled to be able to celebrate Scaredy's birthday in conjunction with Baby Bookworm's.

Scaredy Squirrel Has A Birthday Party is the fifth book in the Scaredy Squirrel series. It is just as fun as its predecessors. As the book begins, Scaredy is planning for his own birthday party. He feels that the safest thing will be celebrate alone in his tree, away from the potential dangers of Bigfoot, confetti, clownfish, ants, ponies, and porcupines. But when Scaredy's friend Buddy gives him a thoughtful card, plans for the party have to change.

The two things that I love most about these books are here in full force. First off, Scaredy is adorable. As I've said before, you just want to pick him up and hug him. He's got this nervous, hopeful smile that stretches across his face. He looks like a little doll in his baby picture, and dressed up in a blue tuxedo and ruffled shirt for the party, well, he's quite dapper.

Second, the books are filled with small, entertaining details. For example, among the "exhibits" compiled in support of Scaredy's "Birthday Party Checklist" are a Nutty Cake Recipe (complete with instruction to "verify expiration dates on all ingredients") and Scaredy's Birth Certificate. His middle name is Orville (S.O.S., get it?). Boxes are checked for "Cute: yes", "Teeth: no" and "Fleas: no". What a relief! Scaredy's plan for ensuring the success and safety of his party is quite ingenious (if a bit overly ambitious, as it turns out).

Scaredy Squirrel Has A Birthday Party is not so much a book to be read aloud as it is a book to be pored over with a small child, reviewing the many fun details. Melanie Watt trained as a graphic artist, and the book is full of icons and charts and time-tables. There are bold lines and colors, and a mix of large and small panels on the various pages.

In short, Scaredy Squirrel Has A Birthday Party is irrepressible fun. Although this is the fifth book in the series, it feels as fresh as the first. Children and adults are sure to empathize with Scaredy's worries (What are safe topics for small talk? What if something gets spilled?), and smile sympathetically when things don't turn out quite as he plans. Highly recommended, and the perfect birthday gift for any four-year-old of your acquaintance.  

Publisher: Kids Can Press
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2011 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and may result in my receiving a small commission on purchases (with no additional cost to you).