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Picture Book Thursday: Squirrels

Squirrels Those Darn Squirrels!
Written by Adam Rubin
Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
Clarion Books
Age Range 4-9 years

Rabbit Rabbit & Squirrel: A Tale of War and Peas
Written by Kara LaReau
Illustrated by Scott Magoon
Harcourt
Age Range 4-9 years

Lookingforloons Looking for Loons
Written by Jennifer Lloyd
Illustrated by Kirsti Anne Wakelin
Simply Read Books
Age Range 4-8 years

Hi folks.  With all the election hub-bub I know people are feeling a bit squirrely, which is the perfect segue way for today’s Picture Book Thursday.  No, I’m not talking about Lois Ehlert’s Nuts to You, but about a whole new crop of books that have me in an autumn mood.

Here’s a quick story for you.  My Nana used to have a bird feeder that hung beside her recliner.  She was convinced a rap on the head with a wooden ruler would deter the squirrels from stealing the seed.  With a good book in hand and ruler at the ready, she’d watch for little gray thieves prowling around her window.  While she probably could have made a go of her Little Bunny Foo Foo inspired plan, a bear took her entire bird feeder off into the woods, saving her the distress of trying to combat the squirrels.  And now for more squirrel drama…. 

Those Darn Squirrels!
I have to say by the time I got to page 11, I was hooked.  The quirky story and hilarious illustrations were just too much.  As Adam Rubin states, “Not many people know this, but squirrels are the cleverest of all the woodland creatures.  In fact, they’re fuzzy geniuses!  They can make a house out of a tree, a bed out of a bunch of leaves, and a box kite out of twigs, dirt, and squirrel spit.”  Students are going to crack up when they see the antics the squirrels get up to.

Rabbit & Squirrel: A Tale of War and Peas
I’d like to dedicate this review to our own teacher extraordinaire Angela Bunyi, a big fan of fresh peas.  This quirky tale finds Rabbit and Squirrel tending their own gardens and pretty much ignoring one another. Practically overnight they find their gardens plundered and their comfy home-life in jeopardy as they’re driven from their homes.  The unexpected ending will truly leave students thinking about cooperation and the futility of fighting.  Scott Magoon’s dark, garden-themed colors are the perfect match for this story.

Looking for Loons
If this book doesn’t have you wanting to rent a cabin in the woods, I don’t know what will.  Jennifer Lloyd deftly describes a family enjoying nature as the surrounding woods wake up.  I felt a connection to Patrick waiting for the loons, as I remembered nighttime excursions to watch for meteor showers or try to spot owls.  Kirsti Anne Wakelin’s warm illustrations complement Lloyd’s imagery, and her sketchbook like endpapers are a real treat.  (By the way, this book only features a squirrel cameo.)

Activity
Give students large graph paper and markers to create a garden that Squirrel and Rabbit could tend together.

And with that I leave you to enjoy your day.  I’ll see you at the Round-Up tomorrow.  Until then, think of me the next time you see a squirrel flying a box kite.

Comments

Jeremy

Hey Angela,

I think you'll like the book. Let me know what you think!

Best,
Jeremy

Angela Bunyi

Jeremy,

You are just too funny! I love my peas, but I think I need to purchase the book to go with my garden theme this year. How perfect is that? Oh, and it gets better...we are working on perimeter and area right now. You rock.

Give "peas" a chance,

Angela Bunyi

Comments are closed. Please see Classroom Solutions, our new blog for the 2009-2010 school year. And stay tuned for Teaching Matters with Angela Bunyi and Beth Newingham.

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