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Gray Squirrel at Pacific Avenue (Smithsonian's Backyard) Hardcover – March 1, 1995
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From School Library Journal
Gr 1-3--A dull recounting of a gray squirrel's activities. High in the live oak tree that grows in the small backyard of the pink house on Pacific Avenue, Gray Squirrel pokes his head out of his leafy nest. He watches the white-crowned sparrows at the feeder and, feeling hungry, runs out to join them. All the birds fly away except for one who stays to chastise him from a nearby perch. The squirrel loses his footing on the feeder, but rights himself. The high point is reached as he makes an unexciting escape from a cat and dog. Lifeless illustrations and equally lifeless writing make this a poor choice for individual or group reading. The pictures are static; the animals lack musculature and expression. The dog (a peculiarly undoglike-looking animal with oddly curved ears and an extra canine tooth) pursues the cat without disturbing even one of the ivy leaves he is charging through. Often, the perspective is confusing. One scene finds readers looking up at a bird feeder with only the sky for a background, yet the fleeing birds are viewed as from above. While backyard squirrel watching may well prove fascinating to children, reading about it in this form is unlikely to entertain and even less likely to inspire further interest. The brief set of notes ``About the Gray Squirrel'' may provide a few facts for report writers, but none that couldn't be found elsewhere.
Lisa Wu Stowe, Great Neck Library, NY
Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Fascinating --School Library Journal
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