Everything Goes: By Sea by Brian Biggs
Literacy Milestone: Being Invested in How You Think a Book Should End

Aw, Nuts!: Rob McClurkan

Book: Aw, Nuts!
Author: Rob McClurkan
Pages: 32
Age Range: 3-7

Aw, Nuts! by Rob McClurkan is the tale of a squirrel's quest to capture the perfect acorn. Squirrel has been saving up acorns. When he spots "the most delicious-looking acorn he had ever seen", and then it bounces away, he is compelled to follow: on foot, by taxi, by dog, by pogo stick, by means of transportation mundane and ridiculous he follows the bouncing acorn. When the acorn finally settles, he finds a happy surprise. But can Squirrel quit while he's ahead, or will he end up racing around again, following the next acorn to catch his eye? Throughout all of Squirrel's adventures, young readers have the chance to repeat his (mainly) chagrined refrain: "Aw, nuts!"

I like the pure silliness of this book, as well as the transparency of Squirrel's moods, from "Aw, nuts!" to a hopeful "I have you now!". It's a predictable up and down format. Like this:

"Luckily, on the same corner was a pogo stick.

Not as lucky, Squirrel bounced right into a manhole. 

A truck was passing by. So Squirrel grabbed hold of it."

And so on. All peppered with Squirrel's comments. McClurkan's digital illustrations feature the big-eyed Squirrel dominating every page visually, against minimal backgrounds, with dashed lines showing the path of the errant acorn. A scene in which Squirrel ends up at a birthday party, getting hugged and petted by several giddy young girls, is particularly entertaining. In general, the images focus more on action than on detail. Aw, Nuts! is a quick, lively read, good for preschoolers. I think that it would make a fun book for a group storytime, especially in the fall. This is a cute one, and worth a look. 

Publisher: HarperCollins (@HarperChildrens
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

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