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Gray Squirrel at Pacific Avenue (Smithsonian's Backyard) Hardcover – March 1, 1995

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Hardcover, March 1, 1995
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Editorial Reviews

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.

Review

Fascinating --School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Series: Smithsonian's Backyard
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Soundprint; Casebound hardcover book edition (March 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568991150
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568991153
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 12 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #735,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
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3 star
25%
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
For those of us surrounded by the omnipresent gray squirrel they seem banal and often a pest. But for my inner city Latino children in a bilingual first grade, this book made real the interaction of animals in a suburban neighborhood. They understood how the squirrel interacts with other animals - often stealing their food; how the squirrel helps grow trees by hiding acorns (we learned about acorns the same week). The picture of the squirrel eating acorns was perfect. We learned how birds depend on feeders for their food. The illustrations were lovely and inventive - they especially liked the photo of the squirrel sleeping with his tail over his head for a shade (we acted it out with our hands) and the dog chasing the squirrel and cat. The neighborhood was unfamiliar to them as the housing was very different but they loved the animals. This book was a most positive teaching aide.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a preschool teacher and wanted an informational book for our unit on squirrels. This book fell short in a couple of ways- too small in size for a large group of children to see the pictures well, although the illustrations were quite nice, and not a whole lot of information about squirrels. The story was not all tht interesting- I had to elaborate on it to hold the interest of a group of 4 year olds.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
These are great stories which are packed with plenty of scientific details. The details blend well with the narrative without being overwhelming.
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By Jill Howard on September 10, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nice book in a nice series.
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