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Scaredy Squirrel Paperback – March 1, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 156 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gr. 1-3. In a tongue-in-cheek tale that may help to prod anxious readers out of their hidebound routines, a squirrel discovers the pleasures of leaping into the unknown. As the world's a scary place, what with the killer bees, green Martians, tarantulas, germs, and sharks that might be lurking about, Scaredy Squirrel keeps to his tree, and to a precise, minute-by-minute daily schedule--until a supposed "killer bee" actually wanders by, causing Squirrel to dislodge his suitcase-size emergency kit. A wild lunge to rescue it turns into a long glide (portrayed in a gatefold), as Squirrel discovers to his astonishment that he is a flying squirrel. Eventually, Squirrel returns in triumph to his tree and from then on adds a daily glide to his accustomed rounds. Despite the simply drawn cartoons and brief text, this is more sophisticated in tone than Martin Waddell's Tiny's Big Adventure (2004), though the message is similar. John Peters
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

Watts conveys a difficult theme ? with an energetic playfulness ? (Scaredy Squirrel is) a masterful balance of charm, comedy and serious realism.

The bold, inviting compositions ... and paint-box colors ? add energy.

With his iconic nervous grin and over-the-top punctiliousness, Scaredy Squirrel is an endearing character.

Readers of any age will chuckle with recognition at the squirrel’s attempts to control his life.

Bound to win over its readers, parent and child, at the outset with its wry wit.

Youngsters will go nuts over this one.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 560L (What's this?)
  • Series: Scaredy Squirrel
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press; Reprint edition (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554530237
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554530236
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Step with me into the wayback machine as we travel to early 2006 and the publication of Melanie Watt's, "Scaredy Squirrel". Watt's latest is by no means her first book, but it distinguishes itself from the pack. Thick black lines, simple images, and humorous repetition mean that this puppy's a tidy little gem. For those kids that know fear all too well, this book will speak to them directly. As for parents, I present to you a title your offspring can be read time after time after time without you having to fight the urge to rip out your hair in large chunks.

Scaredy Squirrel's world is straightforward and easy to navigate. His tree is safe and comforting whereas everything else on the planet is "the unknown" and therefore worthy of fear. I mean, consider how dangerous everything is. There's poison ivy and martians and sharks and germs and all kinds of stuff to watch out for. Scaredy Squirrel, therefore, sees no good reason why he should do anything other than eat, sleep, and look at the view from his tree's verdant branches all day. He even has an emergency kit near at hand. Then... one day... the unthinkable occurs. Out of nowhere a "killer" bee startles our hero and causes him to drop his kit. Down plunges Scaredy (before remembering the whole don't-leave-the-tree plan) but rather than crash to the ground he finds that he is capable of something entirely new: gliding. Turns out that Scaredy has been a flying squirrel all along and never knew it. Now Scaredy makes exactly one leap into the unknown every day before playing dead for two hours and going home. And for this little squirrel, that's a mighty big step to take.

I liked the straightforward nature of the book.
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Format: Hardcover
Scaredy Squirrel, by Mélanie Watt, is a deceptively simply but tremendously funny story. Scaredy Squirrel lives a quiet, routine life in his nut tree. He never leaves the tree because he's afraid of the perils that lie in wait in the outside world: germs, sharks, poison ivy, and green martians, to name a few (would blue martians be less scary, I wonder?). He has a handy little emergency kit, and he spends most of his time on the lookout for danger (when he's not eating nuts, and looking at the view, anyway). But when danger invades his sanctuary, Scaredy Squirrel finds that the best laid plans can crumble. You'll have to read the book yourself to discover how he copes with, and is changed by, his experience.

From the very start, from picture of a nervously grinning Scaredy Squirrel on the cover, this book is irresistible. Mélanie Watt (author and illustrator) is a graphic artist, and her background comes through, decidedly to the book's advantage. Items introduced on one page often repeat later, in smaller format, as icons. My favorite are the killer bees, sparely drawn, but with menacing brows. The germs are also simple, but unmistakable. The bold lines of pictures and fonts are sure to appeal to kids of all ages, drawing the reader forward, eager to see more.

The humor in the book will appeal to adults and kids, too. Watt pokes fun at people who are afraid of everything, but it's a sympathetic sort of fun. We can tell that she's been there, too. We know what to expect from the warning on the very first page: "Warning! Scaredy Squirrel insists that everyone wash their hands with antibacterial soap before reading this book."

I also like the way that the vocabulary in the book doesn't talk down to kids.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow. If ever there was a book about facing your fears of change, this is it! Not just for kids, Scaredy Squirrel has a poignant (and hilarious!) lesson for all of us about trying new things and experiencing the world in new ways. A great gift for those going through life changes: new school, new job, new city, new relationship--and definitely a more unique (and did I mention hilarious?) gift for new graduates than the old "Oh the Places You'll Go." And the illustrations are pretty much the cutest thing I've seen since the Toot and Puddle series.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I laughed my head off when I read my 4 year old this book! She thought it was pretty funny too. I relate soooo much to Scaredy Squirrel as I worry about everything and try to be prepared for everything. The message in this story is fantastic. Because I'm over-the-top like Scaredy, I call the killer bees "Scarey Bees" and playing dead is "Playing Asleep" don't want to scare my 4 year old too much ;) This is a great book for children AND adults. That germaphobe, worrier, non-risk taker in your life can use this book!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The art in the book is great, and the story and message are very reasonable and appropriate.

Unfortunately, it's a non-narrative book--much of it is in tables and isolated "labels" for pictures. If you have the kids that really prefer narrative stories and plot, this will be a tough go. Our kids just weren't prepared for this kind of "webbish" presentation of material in grids and labels, from which a plot must be intuited.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading all three Chester books dozens of times each, I am so relieved to find that Melanie Watt has another series! So simple and such great illustrations. My 5-year-old loves to "read" it to me! Will be looking for others in the series too!
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