From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3—Scaredy Squirrel is frightened by everything associated with the beach—seagulls, sea monsters, jellyfish, etc. He decides to vacation alone, at home, and creates a beach environment with a bag of kitty litter, a plastic flamingo, a flashlight for sunlight, etc. Something is missing, though—the sound of the ocean. The squirrel then devises an elaborate plan to retrieve a seashell (unoccupied) from the real beach by mailing himself to the shore. He has such a good day there—amid the crowd of people—that he forgets his fears and decides to populate his personal beach with a crowd of garden gnomes. Children with fears of the unknown will relate to this tale. The simple story line explains Scaredy Squirrel's worries, plans, and activities in a humorous way. Digitally rendered illustrations in pastel, Floridian colors add amusing details. This is an excellent book to share one-on-one.—Erlene Bishop Killeen, Stroughton Area School District, WI
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That worrywart Scaredy Squirrel (2006) returns in another hilarious tale, this time contemplating a beach vacation. Concerned about falling coconuts, seagulls, and lobsters, however, he decides to build his own beach. After a burst of squirrel creativity, he is soon lounging on a bed of kitty litter, soaking in sun from a flashlight, and contemplating the water in his inflatable pool. Unfortunately, there’s something amiss, which puts Scaredy on course to a real beach to acquire a seashell. As might be expected, his preparations for the visit involve much more than just packing a suit. In fact, the only thing that slips beneath his radar are people—who eventually win him over and also inspire a funny addition to his own sunbather’s haven. In appealing, flat colors, Watt’s cartoon-style pictures (full spread and graphic-novel-style panels) add joke after joke. With simple shapes bordered in distinctive ribbons of black and white, they deliver a surprise on every page as the obsessive squirrel, with toothy grin and boundless imagination, scampers around, trying to anticipate everything that can go wrong. Grades 1-3. --Stephanie Zvirin