Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Book Review: Squirrel's World

Squirrel's World by Lisa Moser, illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev. Grades 1-3.

Squirrel, an adorably ADD woodland creature, only wants to help his friends. The problem is he always seems to be trying a little too hard. The episodic chapters in this beginning reader book detail Squirrel's interactions with Mouse, Turtle, and Rabbit. He collects food with Mouse, plays a game with Turtle, and helps Rabbit get a lily pad from the pond, each with varying degrees of success. In the end, though, all Squirrel's friends realize that his heart's in the right place.

I really enjoyed this beginning reader by the author of The Monster in the Backpack. It's funny and it has heart. One of the things that made it so enjoyable is the kooky, excitable main character. You can tell right from the start that he's on the move, he's got places to go and things to do. Take the very beginning of the book:

Squirrel was busy, busy busy. He had to help his tree. "Grow, grow, grow!" cheered Squirrel. He had to help the river. "Flow, flow, flow!" said Squirrel. He had to help his friends. "Got to go, got to go, got to go, go, go!" (pg. 1)

All he wants to do is help and his gestures turn out larger than life. By the end of the book, he's even helping his friends go to sleep. Valeri Gorbachev (illustrator of All for Pie, Pie for All and The Giant Hug, among others) adds perfectly cheery illustrations. They're cute without being cutesy. Hand this one to fans of Frog & Toad or anyone looking for a super cute first chapter book. I'm hoping we'll see more of Squirrel and his friends.