Book Review: Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping by Mélanie Watt, in Scaredy Squirrel Series Title 6

by DerdriuMarriner

Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping is title #6 in Mélanie Watt's Scaredy Squirrel series. The Kids Can Press picture book shares a Canadian flying squirrel's real and virtual camping.

Scaredy Squirrel's law: Do not run into trouble

Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping assumes the position of title #6 in the Scaredy Squirrel series. The 2013-released picture book predictably begins with:
• front flap with nutshell plot summary, plot complication, and three content questions preceding reader discretion advisory (excluding skunks in this case);
• prefatory pages with pre-storytime behavior modification (attention to zippers in this instance); and
• rear flap with biographical extract modeling pertinent experiences (downside of carbonized marshmallows, overpacking, rain-battered tent-raising versus upside of campfire songs, firefly watches, wilderness hikes around Lake St. Francis since the age of 3.3 years) and fears (mosquitoes) and with self-portrait at work amid wall art.

It considers Scaredy's new television whose plug needs off-site outlets on campgrounds a 10-minute run away.




Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus fuscus), a subspecies of Northern Flying Squirrel native to Virginia and West Virginia:

Virginia Northern Flying Squirrels find refuge in the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern West Virginia's Tucker County.
photo by Larry Master/US Fish and Wildlife Service
photo by Larry Master/US Fish and Wildlife Service

Scaredy Squirrel's motto: Happy campers are prepared campers


Television draws armchair campers with such programming as: 

  • The Joy of Camping, at 6:00 p.m.; 
  • The BBQ Challenge, at 9:00 p.m.; and 
  • When Moose Attack, at 10:00 p.m. 

Scaredy envisions leaving a walkie-talkie -- if reinforcements are required, emergencies arise or contact is needed -- at the foot of his oak tree (Quercus spp) before he round-trips the campground's amenities between 5:31 p.m. and 5:59 p.m. He finishes 143 sets of back-bends, side-thrusts, stretches, and toe-touches -- and runs an obstacle course looping around mosquito and penguin representations, safety cones, and teddy bear decoys -- before donning: 

  • camouflage jacket with name badge; 
  • netted hat with good luck penny; 
  • nose plugs; 
  • rubber boots; 
  • scout's neckerchief; and 
  • water wings. 


Camping for squirrels? ~ A nest box serves as a safe refuge for Virginia Northern Flying Squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus fuscus).

Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, northeastern West Virginia
Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, northeastern West Virginia

Scaredy Squirrel's pledge: Have a plan for everything


Scaredy gathers together: 

  • cement against quicksand; 
  • dictionary as a step-up if the outlet is high; 
  • instant oatmeal for The Three Bears
  • pliers for zippers; 
  • popsicles for penguins; and 
  • tomato juice against skunks. 

He nevertheless has the outdoor rule of hiding and playing dead if plans fall apart. That is exactly what happens when Scaredy ambles onto the campground's mini-golf course.

Scaredy judges playing dead for two hours to be the best reaction. Upon reviving and witnessing the beauty of the setting sun from one of the lake's boats, Scaredy knows that camping, fresh air, fireside songs, pine cone hunts, roasted marshmallows, and the wilderness must be enjoyed in real time and up close, not through digital lenses. 


Northern Flying Squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus) feel safe in trees, especially oak (Quercus spp), as they pursue their nocturnal life style.

Northern Ontario, just above Lake Superior, east central Canada
Northern Ontario, just above Lake Superior, east central Canada

Scaredy Squirrel's promise: Safe squirrels are fit squirrels


Northern and southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus, G. volans) lead sylvan bio-geographies, life cycles, and natural histories whose urban and wilderness interfaces respectively expand and shrink throughout North America. They make their presence more or less known to researchers and visitors by: 

  • glides of 72.18 feet (22 meters) every 12 seconds realizing trajectories three times every vertical foot (0.32 meter) of launch height; 
  • high-pitched chips and squeaks; and 
  • 25- to 30-member socialized, thermo-regulating communities. 

Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping provides -- for pre-kindergarteners to third-graders aged 4 to 8 years -- culturally enriching, educationally entertaining adventures with: 

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


Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping by Mélanie Watt ~ available via Amazon

Scaredy Squirrel is not too comfortable with the idea of camping ... unless it's on his couch!
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.


Measuring foot of a Carolina Northern Flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus coloratus):

Carolina Northern Flying Squirrels are a subspecies of Northern Flying Squirrels found only in the Southern Appalachians where northern hardwood forests give way to spruce-fir forests
Asheville, western North Carolina
Asheville, western North Carolina

Sources Consulted: Scardy Squirrel books sell in English and French


Watt, Mélanie. 2013. Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping. Scaredy Squirrel Series Title #6. Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Tonawanda, NY, USA: Kids Can Press. 


The miracle of flight: Northern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus) decamps for another location.

Northern Flying squirrel in the USA
Northern Flying squirrel in the USA
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

How Animals Sense Their Surroundings ~ poster available via AllPosters

How Animals Sense their Surroundings

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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