Wednesday, October 9, 2013

news from the book nook: squirrel friends

Random observation of the day: did you know squirrels take dust baths? I thought dust baths were mostly reserved for elephants and chinchillas, but I just witnessed our little bushy-tailed neighbor enjoying a bath in the flowerbed. Naturally, I wondered if he remembered to dust behind his ears. Then I thought wouldn't that make a lovely story for a picture book...which brings me to this inspired blog post. You have the squirrel to thank for it.
Fall storytimes were always some of my favorites: farms, leaves, pumpkins, apples, and squirrels. Everybody loves a good squirrel story. Maybe it's because so many of us can relate to their squeaky, loud antics. Or perhaps it's because they often seem to purposely place themselves in the middle of traffic and then dart out of the way at the last second (remember that commercial where the car swerves and the squirrels fist bump afterwards). Maybe it's the twitchy, bushy tail or the way they sniff out last year's buried nuts. Whatever it is - there's some lovely squirrel picture books out there!

Personally, my favorite story is from my own childhood - we had a "pet" squirrel who lived in the grove of trees down the road. He'd take nuts from our hands, sit on our shoulders, and follow us to our houses every evening. Amazingly, he didn't have rabies, but he might have had some mites... He was our friendly squirrel friend named Paul. One day I'll write his story, but until then here's some of my favorite squirrel friend books:

Ol' Mama Squirrel by David Ezra Stein
Forget mama bears - beware of mama squirrels! This squirrel is fiercely protective of anything that comes remotely close to their tree. A new preschool favorite - get your shaking fist and your "cook, chook, chook" squirrel sounds ready!

The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri
A classic for the little ones and a great way to introduce how animals get ready for winter.

Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt
A super silly squirrel with a whole series of books. A funny read for the "scaredy squirrel" in your life and a wonderful way to help your child face his/her fears. Preschool-Grade 2

Those Darn Squirrels by Adam Rubin
Ignore this one if you don't want to teach your child the word darn, but it's a silly read especially for early elementary readers. What happens when a grumpy man who only likes birds and some smart squirrels don't see eye-to-eye?

Nuts to You! by Lois Elhert
A lovely blend of narrative and squirrel facts - perfect for an early (ages 2-4) introduction to nonfiction reads.

Happy fall reading!!

P.S. If you're looking for the half-eaten muffin recipe in the photo at the top of the post, stay tuned - it's coming later this week!


  1. I love your book nook posts. :) Wendy and I are reading almost every day now and her favorite books tend to be those with animals. We have one out from the library called "Bear Feels Sick" and another called "Ten Little Fish" which she's really into . . . we're still at the skip-half-the-words stage, but oh well! ;)

    1. Yay! I love Karma Wilson's bear books! All that matters is that you're cultivating a love of reading - even if that means skipped pages or the same book read 10 times in a row :)