________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 19 . . . . May 16, 2008

cover

Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach.

Mélanie Watt.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2008.
32 pp., hardcover, $16.95.
ISBN 978-1-55453-225-4.

Subject Headings:
Squirrels-Juvenile fiction.
Fear-Juvenile fiction.
Beaches-Juvenile fiction.

Kindergarten-grade 5 / Ages 5-10.

Review by Robert Groberman.

**** /4

It looks like a beach and feels like a beach, but it doesn't sound like one. Scaredy Squirrel notices something's missing –  the soothing sound of the ocean! The solution: Make a quick trip to the REAL beach and find a seashell that fits the description below.


Seashell (Quality and Performance Chart)
-germ free
-shiny exterior
-crystal clear sound
RED ALERT! Seashell must NOT, I repeat, NOT be
occupied!

 

internal art

     In Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach, Mélanie Watt continues the adventures of Scaredy Squirrel found in her two previous picture books, Scaredy Squirrel and Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend. Scaredy Squirrel is a character who fears everything outside his tree home. He is afraid to go to the beach because of his fear of seagulls, jellyfish, falling coconuts and pirates. Because of his fears, he builds his own beach out of his household materials like an inflatable swimming pool while using cat litter for sand. When he discovers that he needs an actual seashell from the actual beach and must travel there to get one, he discovers that his fears were unfounded and that the outside world is a friendly, fun place.

     Mélanie Watt tells her stories using clever full page illustrations which include checklists, signs, a squirrel passport large enough to read and a diagram showing what Scaredy wears to the beach to keep safe. Some pages are divided into four sections to show the passage of time, and other pictures take up an entire two pages, with text confined to the important story action, even as other, interesting things are happening in the very detailed pictures.

     Young children will enjoy this book as a read aloud, and older children will enjoy the humour as they will identify with Scaredy's fears and ability to overcome them.

Recommended.

Robert Groberman is a grade two teacher at Kirkbride Elementary School in Surrey, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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