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Earl the Squirrel Paperback – July 30, 2008


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100%20Children%27s%20Books%20to%20Read%20in%20a%20Lifetime
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Live Oak Media; Pap/Com edition (July 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430104163
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430104162
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,366,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2–A posthumous publication of a manuscript by the creator of Corduroy (Viking, 1968). Earl's mother thinks that his friend Jill (a little girl) is spoiling her son when she gives him an acorn, a nutcracker, and her doll's red scarf, so Earl sets out to prove that he can find acorns on his own. The red scarf becomes a sack, a hat, and a bullfighter's cape, and the young squirrel comes back with a harvest of acorns and returns the scarf. The scarlet scarf leaps out of Freeman's otherwise black-and-white scratchboard illustrations. The pictures are full of energy and detail, and Earl is both cheeky and endearing. Kids will laugh when Conrad the bull gets stuck in the tree as Earl indignantly and fearlessly snatches the precious scarf from his horns, only to be plonked on the head by an acorn. The story is gentle, innocent, and funny, and although it was written many years ago, Freeman's ability to capture the artless adventures of childhood is of the moment.–Jane Barrer, formerly at Washington Square Village Creative Steps, New York City
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

PreS-K. Earl is a young squirrel who has become dependent on the kindness of a girl who lives nearby. Instructed by his mother to hunt for acorns, he goes to visit his human friend and returns with an acorn--and a nutcracker. Chided at home, Earl soon ventures out on his own, wearing a red scarf his friend has knitted. His quest for nuts turns into a contest with a bull, but he succeeds in spectacular fashion. It's only natural that this picture book has a certain vintage tone and look. Its author-illustrator is the same Don Freeman (1908-1978) whose best picture books, such as Beady Bear and Corduroy, appeared in the 1950s and 1960s. The scratchboard artwork, particularly effective in the night scenes, pictures Earl's adventures in black and white with one colorful element: the scarlet scarf. Published for the first time,^B this picture book will please those who enjoy the innocent air and now-retro look of Freeman's work. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Don Freeman was born in San Diego, California, in 1908. At an early age, he received a trumpet as a gift from his father. He practiced obsessively and eventually joined a California danceband. After graduating from high school, he ventured to New York City to study art under the tutelage of Joan Sloan and Harry Wickey at the Art Students' League. He managed to support himself throughout his schooling by playing his trumpet evenings, in nightclubs and at weddings.
Gradually, he eased into making a living sketching impressions of Broadway shows for The New York Times and The Herald Tribune. This shift was helped along, in no small part, by a rather heartbreaking incident; he lost his trumpet. One evening, he was so engrossed in sketching people on the subway, he simply forgot it was sitting on the seat beside him. This new career turned out to be a near-perfect fit for Don, though, as he had always loved the theater.

He was introduced to the world of Childrens' Literature, when William Saroyan asked him to illustrate several books. Soon after, he began to write and illustrate his own books, a career he settled into comfortably and happily. Through his writing, he was able to create his own theater: "I love the flow of turning the pages, the suspense of what's next. Ideas just come at me and after me. It's all so natural. I work all the time, long into the night, and it's such a pleasure. I don't know when the time ends. I've never been happier in my life!"

Don died in 1978, after a long and successful career. He created many beloved characters in his lifetime, perhaps the most beloved among them a stuffed, overall-wearing bear, named Corduroy.

Don Freeman was the author and illustrator of many popular books for children, including Corduroy, A Pocket for Corduroy, and the Caldecott Honor Book Fly High, Fly Low.

Customer Reviews

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Readers of all ages will love it!
Betsy
I love that all of the illustrations are in black & white except for the red scarf!
Flora Beard
Book flows well and teaches a nice story.
Blade

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Countless fans who enjoyed the classic Corduroy books by Caldecott Honoree Don Freeman know that youngsters will be equally attracted to Earl the Squirrel. Freeman's illustrations are as fresh and appealing as ever in this story of the little squirrel whose mother said, "Earl, It is high time you went out and learned to find acorns on your own."

Earl agreed with his mother and he wanted to make her proud of him, but he didn't have the faintest idea where he was going to find any acorns. He immediately ran over to see Jill. She's a good friend who gifted him with a large acorn and a nutcracker.

When Earl returned to his tree home proudly bearing the acorn and nutcracker his mother was not at all impressed. She guessed that Jill had given these things to him, and told him how ridiculous it was for a squirrel to have a nutcracker. She ordered him to take that nutcracker right back.

Always generous, Jill had another gift for him - a bright red scarf to keep his ears warm. He zoomed home as fast as he could to show his mother his new scarf. Again, she was sorely disappointed to think that any furry self-respecting squirrel would need a scarf to keep him warm.

Poor Earl, it seems that he can't do anything to please his mother - least of all find acorns. He spent the entire cold night searching for acorns. Finally, exhausted he sought refuge in a hollow tree only to be chased off by an angry owl.

However, the owl did tell him the location of a huge acorn tree. Earl sped off and was so excited to find the tree full of acorns that he didn't notice the enormous bull snoozing beneath it. Well, you know what happens when bulls see red!

All's well that ends well in this cheery story of a little squirrel who must learn how to get along in the world.

- Gail Cooke
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If there is something familiar about the way "Earl the Squirrel" is drawn, that is simply because he is the creation of Don Freeman, the writer-artist of the classic picture book "Corduroy." So inside you will find the familiar black & white scratchboard art of Freeman, with a touch of red here and there for Earl's scarf and for the eyes of a particularly large and unhappy animal that Earl encounters.

The situation is that early one autumn morning a mother gray squirrel sits down her young son, Earl, and tells him, "It is high time you went out and learned how to find acorns on your own." Now, Earl does not know much about gathering acorns so he goes to visit his friend Jill, a young girl who lives in the house near the tree where Earl lives with his mother. Jill not only gives him an acorn that she has been saving, but a nutcracker to help him open it. So Earl proudly goes back to his mother, eager to show her what he has found, but she takes one look at him, sits him down in the hole in the tree where they live, and informs Earl that he is not about to become the most spoiled squirrel in the world. Earl returns the nutcracker (but not the acorn), but Jill has another present; a red scarf that he wears around his neck. This does not go over with his mother either.

Earl knows that his mother is right and that he has to learn to go out and find acorns on his own, so he goes out in the middle of the night, armed only with this new red scarf, to do just that. It is a long cold night and when Earl finally finds an oak tree with plenty of acorns it turns out his red scarf is a liability. Fortunately, Earl is a lucky little squirrel, and the moral of Freeman's should be clear to his young readers even if he only shows the point and does not tell them.
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By Betsy on January 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Earl the Squirrel is a charming story about the adventures of a dear little squirrel! Readers of all ages will love it!
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By Margaret Engle on November 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A really cute book for fall which is just fun and helps a little one experience and learn about a variety of things--scarves, nutcrackers, acorns
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Format: Paperback
In this squirrel coming of age story Earl's mom tells him it's time to venture out and find his own acorn. At the same time his human friend gives him an acorn and a nut cracker (and later a red scarf). His mother is not pleased with this at all. She calls him spoiled and tells him he has to behave like a squirrel! Earl is sweet and crafty and not a bit petulant with his bossy mother. My 4 year old loves this book so much I found it in his bed the next morning along with the cup of acorns he's been collecting. As a bonus, I've never seen him wind down so fast during our bedtime routine.
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By Blade on March 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book flows well and teaches a nice story. Love reading the owl section in a hooty tone. Possibly my favorite book by Don.
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