Book Review: Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday by Mélanie Watt, in Scaredy Squirrel Series Title 5

by DerdriuMarriner

Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday is title #5 in Mélanie Watt's Scaredy Squirrel series. The Kids Can Press picture book shares a Canadian flying squirrel's first birthday party.

Scaredy Squirrel has a birthdate of October 3:

Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday articulates the position of title #5 in the Scaredy Squirrel series. The 2011-released picture book predictably begins with:
• front flap with nutshell plot summary, plot complication, and three content questions and with reader suitability advisory (excluding clownfish in this case);
• prefatory pages with pre-storytime behavior modification (donning earmuffs in this instance); and
• rear flap with biographical extract revealing pertinent experiences (favoring break-dancing, double-dipping, and TWISTER while enjoying decorations, Mother's homemade desserts, and music at parties) and fears (spills) and with self-portrait at work amid wall art.

It considers Scaredy's duality as arboreal party host and sole guest confirming:
• birth certificate;
• breathing chart-tracked balloon-/candle-blowing prowess;
• cake recipe;
• color charts; and
• tuxedo dry-cleaning pick-up.

*****

Websites:
http://melaniewatt.blogspot.com/p/did-you-know_12.html
http://www.kidscanpress.com/creators/m%C3%A9lanie-watt/223

*****

Southern Flying Squirrels belong to one of the two species of New World native flying squirrels:

Geographical distribution of the Southern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys volans).
IUCN Red List spatial data for the borders of the Glaucomys volans range
IUCN Red List spatial data for the borders of the Glaucomys volans range

Scaredy Squirrel is born at 13:28'6" (1:28'6" p.m.)

 

The mailman deposits birthday greetings from Buddy. Scaredy extends an invitation to Buddy, whose fur-washing occurs other than at 1:00 p.m. on October 3. He fixes the party's location groundward by: 

  • building a house of cards for party-stomping Bigfoot; 
  • detouring picnic-minded ants with cookie trails; 
  • discouraging trick-happy clownfish with Ludwig van Beethoven's (December 17, 1770 - March 26, 1827) serious-looking statue; 
  • donning earmuffs and safety goggles against balloon-popping porcupines; 
  • renting a confetti-friendly party tent; and 
  • suspending a carrot-baited fishing rod from an oak tree (Quercus spp). 

He goes over acceptable (guest associations with trees, weather) and unacceptable (bad breath mints, flea-filled paws, muskrat-like toupees) chatting and irritating behavior (break-dancing, double-dipping, overeating sweets, piñata- and raucous music-playing, using noisemakers). 

 

Southern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys volans): one of two species of New World flying squirrels, both found in Canada

Lac Notre-Dame, Montfort, Wentworth-Nord, Québec, eastern Canada
Lac Notre-Dame, Montfort, Wentworth-Nord, Québec, eastern Canada

Scaredy Squirrel measures 8.24 centimeters long at birth

 

Scaredy has the 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. schedule include: 

  • brown-sugared, nut-filled cake; 
  • card- and domino-playing; 
  • chips; 
  • dip; 
  • fire extinguisher; 
  • germ-free sign; 
  • punch; and 
  • thank-you speech. 

He is so panic-stricken by Buddy's boombox-, confetti-, noisemaker-bearing party animals that he plays dead. Two hours later, he joins Buddy, Cashew, Coco, Damian, Hazel, Mack, Peanut, Pecan, Pinenut, and Pistachio, who have the one-year-old's candle lighted and elegant wood finish-framed portrait of oak tree, purple UFO, squirrel, and valentine heart gift-wrapped. He keeps the party going long enough to: 

  • issue next year's 10 invitations; and 
  • plan a two-year-old's bigger cake, casual wear with sneakers, dog biscuits, doggy bags, Frisbee, guest toothbrushes, hand-sanitizing dispenser, pre-memorized speech, rented porta-potties, and top-of-the-line earplugs. 

 

By 8 weeks baby New World Flying Squirrels (Glaucomys spp) have taken to the airways with parachuting movements.

A Southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans) gliding.
A Southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans) gliding.

Scaredy Squirrel weighs 14.8 flealess grams at birth

 

Canada's flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus, G. volans) live 14 years outside old-/second-growth forests. They mature from fall-/spring-delivered, one- to six-member litters after 40-day gestations to: 

  • hearing, sight at 6 and 30 days; 
  • parachuting at 8 weeks; 
  • physical adulthood with bodies 8.50 - 10.55 inches (216 - 268 millimeters) long weighing 1.76 - 6.53 ounces (50 - 185 grams), tails 3.54 - 7.24 inches (90 - 184 millimeters) long; and 
  • sexual adulthood at 9 months. 

So Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday nudges pre-kindergarteners to third-graders aged 4 to 8 years into 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 Has a Birthday Party by Mélanie Watt ~ available via Amazon

In the fifth book, Scaredy Squirrel plans his own birthday and surprise!... things get very crowded.
Scaredy Squirrel series

Acknowledgment

 

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.

 

Radio-collared Southern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys volans)

Grayson County, southwestern Virginia
Grayson County, southwestern Virginia

Sources Consulted: Scardy Squirrel books sell in English and French

 

Watt, Mélanie. 2011. Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday. Scaredy Squirrel Series Title #5. Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Tonawanda, NY, USA: Kids Can Press. 

 

Radio-collared female Carolina Northern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus coloratus):

in high-elevation red spruce (Picea rubens) stand on Whitetop Mountain, Grayson County, southwest Virginia, during winter of 2014.
photo by Corinne Diggins/Virginia Tech/USGS VCFWRU
photo by Corinne Diggins/Virginia Tech/USGS VCFWRU
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Three Month Old Male Northern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys Sabrinus) ~ poster available via AllPosters

photo by Joel Sartore
Three Month Old Male Northern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys Sabrinus)

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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