Saturday, May 21, 2011

Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party

Melanie Watt essentially created a gold mine with her first Scaredy Squirrel book. Better, yet, she continues to invent clever situations for this phobic with each successive book. Although she continues to use essentially the same template, the books always feel fresh, never tired or overused. Soooo, it's really Melanie Watt who is the gold mine. I'm happy to report the squirrel is back for his fifth adventure. And this time he's clad in a sweet powder blue tux!   

For those who are familiar with Scaredy's antics, it comes as no surprise that he usually celebrates his birthday quietly in his tree, and is not prone to hosting raucous parties. In fact, he will be inviting just one guest: the guest of honor. A party of one pretty much guarantees there will not be any nasty surprises to ruin the party, like Bigfoot, a pack of surly ants or the dreaded confetti. After receiving a lovely birthday card from his friend Buddy, Scaredy decides to invite him to this year's party. Because allowing an outside guest to attend is a risky move, Scaredy jumps into super plan mode.

I love Scaredy's birthday checklist and corresponding exhibits. Paint chips displayed to choose the party colors, nutty cake recipe at the ready for the cake, dry cleaning slip for aforementioned powder blue tuxedo, and Scaredy's birth certificate to verify the date. Watt is so careful to include so many funny details: boxes checked yes for cute and no for fleas on his birth certificate; the invitation's response choices are Yes, I can or No, I can't - I have to wash my fur. The Wheel of Dos and Don'ts include the single acceptable party activity of sitting quietly and seven bad choices, ranging from listen to loud music to surprise the birthday squirrel.

Although Scaredy is as careful as can be, erecting a germ-free party sign and selecting coversation topics ahead of time for small talk, the party spins out of control. Buddy shows up ... with a dozen of his closest dog friends. Scaredy panics, falls on the ground and plays dead. It always takes a couple hours of playing dead for this little squirrel to aclimate to the situation.In the end, he enjoys his party immensely and begins preparations to make next year's party even better. 

Another win for Melanie Watt! Check out Scaredy Squirrel at Night and Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach.

Review copy provided by Kids Can Press.

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