Book Review: Scaredy Squirrel at Night by Mélanie Watt, in Scaredy Squirrel Series Title 4

by DerdriuMarriner

Scaredy Squirrel at Night is title #4 in Mélanie Watt's Scaredy Squirrel series. The Kids Can Press picture book reveals a Canadian flying squirrel's handling bad dreams and sleep.

Scaredy Squirrel dislikes dreaming badly and sleeping nightly:

Scaredy Squirrel at Night appears as Scaredy Squirrel series title #4. The 2009-released picture book predictably begins with:
• front flap with nutshell plot summary, plot complication, and three content questions and with reader suitability advisory (excluding unicorns in this case);
• prefatory pages with pre-storytime behavior modification (checking under beds); and
• rear flap with biographical extract sharing relevant experiences (dreams about Dracula, forgotten homework, Jaws, pajama-wearing to school) and fears (vampire bats) and with self-portrait at work amid wall art.

It considers cymbal-playing, scrap-booking, star-counting Scaredy's avoiding dreaming of:
• dragons;
• fairies;
• ghosts;
• polka-dot monsters;
• unicorns; and
• vampire bats.

He consequently deals with such side effects of sleeplessness as:
• confusion;
• drowsiness;
• enervation;
• exhaustion;
• forgetfulness;
• hallucinations;
• moodiness; and
• poor reflexes.




Scaredy Squirrel is a New World flying squirrel, of which only two species exist ~

Geographical distribution of the Northern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus).
IUCN Red List spatial data to draw the borders of the Glaucomys sabrinus range
IUCN Red List spatial data to draw the borders of the Glaucomys sabrinus range

Scaredy Squirrel expects to fight against bad horror-scopes


Astrologers nevertheless expect the stars to exert daily and nightly influences upon zodiac sign-bearers, asleep or awake. Scaredy therefore feels panic-stricken upon reading at 11:43 p.m. that all dreams are supposed to come true at midnight for his sign, Libra, of September 23 to October 22. He goes into bad dream action plan mode with: 

  • banana peels to trip polka-dot monsters; 
  • cupcakes to distract sweet-toothed fairies; 
  • Do Not Disturb sign posted upside-down for bats to read; 
  • fan to blow away ghosts; 
  • fire extinguisher to put out flame-breathing dragons; 
  • molasses to slow down unicorns; 
  • spotlight to make monsters disappear and mask Scaredy's true location; and 
  • teddy bear as decoy under blanket and pillow and within safety cone-cordoned area.


Owls, especially Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina), are nightmares for their preferred prey, New World Flying Squirrels:

Northern Spotted Owl near McKenzie River, Oregon.
John and Karen Hollingsworth/USFS Region 5 (Pacific Southwest)
John and Karen Hollingsworth/USFS Region 5 (Pacific Southwest)

Scaredy Squirrel favors good night's dreams and sleep


Five raccoons, nine ground beetles, one green frog, one larva, one mouse, one owl, one porcupine, and twenty-three moths hide from Scaredy's spotlight. Scaredy is so panic-stricken that he slips on banana peels, sticks in molasses, and stumbles over safety cones before playing dead -- for eight hours -- until after sunrise. From thenceforth, he joins other happy night-sleepers in recognizing the benefits of: 

  • clear-mindedness; 
  • cleverness; 
  • energy; 
  • health; 
  • joy; 
  • memory; 
  • peace; and 
  • reflexes. 

He keeps only his blanket, fire extinguisher, pillow, and teddy bear from his bad dream chest and horoscope collection. He likes to fall asleep with his fire extinguisher and teddy bear nearby while counting fireflies and trusting in his fortune cookie's message Sweet Dreams! 


Scaredy Squirrel is a New World flying squirrel, of which only two species exist; flying squirrels are nocturnal.

Southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans) at Ark Animal Sanctuary
Southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans) at Ark Animal Sanctuary

Scaredy Squirrel gets the advice of fortune cookies


North America's native flying squirrel species make night-active life cycles and natural histories work with expanding urban and shrinking wilderness interfaces in sylvan bio-geographies. Both need darkness to: 

  • forage for food sources for daily needs, dependent young, and winter-accessible supplies; 
  • migrate between cold-weather tree-trunk cavities and canopy-enveloped warm-weather dreys; 
  • mate on independent females' non-overlapping territories; and 
  • socialize on independent males' overlapping territories. 

So Scaredy Squirrel at Night offers kindergarteners to third graders aged 4 to 8 years a charming fictionalization of flying squirrels being less diurnal because of daytime's daydreams and night-time's nightmares through: 

  • Kids Can Press; 
  • Karen Powers, designer; 
  • Tara Walker, editor; and 
  • Mélanie Watt, author and Potato Cut-set text's acrylic and charcoal-penciled artwork designer/jacket illustrator. 


Scaredy Squirrel at Night by Mélanie Watt ~ available via AllPosters

Scaredy never sleeps -- sleep might mean bad dreams about dragons, ghosts, vampire bats and polka-dot monsters. Our wide-eyed hero has a plan: stay awake all night, every night.
Scaredy Squirrel series



My special thanks to:

  • Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.


The New World's two species of flying squirrels (Glaucomys) number among small mammal predators of pesky Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar).

closeup of Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) larvae
closeup of Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) larvae

Sources Consulted: Scardy Squirrel books sell in English and French


Doane, Charles C., and Michael L. McManus, eds. 1981. The Gypsy Moth: Research Toward Integrated Pest Management. Washington DC: US Department of Agriculture. 

Watt, Mélanie. 2009. Scaredy Squirrel at Night. Scaredy Squirrel Series Title #4. Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Tonawanda, NY, USA: Kids Can Press. 


Southern Flying Squirrels (Glaucomys volans) consider a variety of food sources in their foraging.

Cleveland, northeastern Ohio
Cleveland, northeastern Ohio
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Northern Flying Squirrel flying ~ poster available via AllPosters

Northern Flying Squirrel Flying

Photo jigsaw puzzle of Northern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus): image by Moose Peterson ~ available via Amazon

10x14 Photo Puzzle with 252 pieces. Packed in black cardboard box 5 5/8 x 7 5/8 x 1 1/5. Puzzle image 5x7 affixed to box top.
Photo Jigsaw Puzzle - Ardea Wildlife Pets

Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 03/16/2015, DerdriuMarriner
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