CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 7. . . .October 21, 2016
Award-winning author Eric Walters’ Batcat and the Seven Squirrels is part of the “Orca Echoes” series which provides “lively, entertaining short chapter books” well-suited to “social responsibility and character building programs”. In Walters’ latest title, Nathan and his parents rescue seven orphaned squirrels from a backyard tree and care for them in a box in their house. Nathan is surprised when the neighbourhood tomcat, Batcat, also moves in and takes on the role of protector of the baby squirrels. Once the squirrels are old enough to fend for themselves, they eventually leave the house to return to the wild.
Batcat and the Seven Squirrels, a heartwarming, simple story of love, family and the cycle of life, is based on an incident in the author’s childhood. The book includes simple pencil sketches by illustrator Kasio Charko, similar in style to Sal Murdacca’s Magic Tree House work. The loss of the mother squirrel, who was run over by a car, is dealt with honestly, quickly and sensitively. Batcat and the Seven Squirrels lends itself well to a read-aloud for an elementary classroom, as well as being a beginning chapter book for young readers. Each chapter ends on a note of high interest leading the reader to want to read on. Walters has crafted a sweet tale with a warm fuzzy feeling, a definite choice for young readers requiring high interest, low vocabulary selections, or for educators seeking a safe read-aloud that will be of interest to all of their young students.
Cate Carlyle, a former elementary teacher currently residing in Halifax, NS, is a librarian at Mount Saint Vincent University.
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