Book Review: Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend by Mélanie Watt, in Scaredy Squirrel Series Title 2

by DerdriuMarriner

Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend is title #2 in Mélanie Watt's Scaredy Squirrel series. The Kids Can Press picture book reveals a Canadian flying squirrel's befriending a goldfish.

Scaredy Squirrel considers health and security over friendship:

As title #2 released in respectively hardback and paperback formats in 2007 and 2011, Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend acknowledges the Scaredy Squirrel series' super-popularity. The picture book begins predictably with:
• front flap with nutshell plot summary, plot complication, and three content questions and with reader suitability advisory (excluding walruses in this case);
• prefatory pages with pre-storytime behavior modification (tooth-brushing with germ-fighting toothpaste in this instance);
• and rear flap with biographical extract modeling relevant experiences (mosquito and parrot bites) and fears (piranhas) and with self-portrait at work amid wall art.

In nutty adventure #2, Scaredy Squirrel considers as the advantage of isolated life cycles and natural histories avoidance of bites by:
• beavers;
• bunnies;
• Godzilla;
• piranhas; and
• walruses.

*****

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

*****

Scaredy Squirrel wants to share freshly squeezed lemons for lemonade with friends.

fresh lemons (Citrus x limon)
fresh lemons (Citrus x limon)

Scaredy Squirrel decides that goldfish make perfect friends

 

Isolation does not have to be depressing or unproductive since Scaredy has time to: 

  • chat with hand puppets; 
  • count; 
  • craft paper chains; 
  • knit; 
  • read; 
  • whistle; and 
  • yawn. 

But then Scaredy's gaze encounters a bubbly, germ-free, quiet, super-clean, toothless goldfish splashing and swimming in a two-tiered, water-filled fountain. Scaredy feels prepared for 100% safe, perfect friendships with: 

  • body odor-busting, pine-scented air freshener; 
  • chew toys to distract biters; 
  • comb; 
  • lemon to fresh-squeeze a pitcherful of lemonade; 
  • mirror to check bad hair and food-splattered teeth days; 
  • mittens to cover nerves-induced sweating paws; 
  • name tag; and 
  • toothbrush. 

He goes outside determined to: 

  • avoid eye contact and loud noises; 
  • hide fears and fingers; and 
  • risk-test passersby for dentition, hobbies, identity, and mindsets. 

 

Scaredy Squirrel thinks a goldfish in a two-tiered fountain is a good candidate for friendship but a surprise visit from a dog initially terrifies Scaredy.

goldfish with white spots on gill covers
goldfish with white spots on gill covers

Scaredy Squirrel expresses a willingness to re-think assumptions

 

But a dog's unexpected appearance has Scaredy circling the fountain and woody plants before playing dead for two hours. Scaredy then intuits the dog's friendly intentions. He joins Buddy in: 

  • fetch;
  • hide-and-seek;
  • play dead; and 
  • tag. 

He knows an 83% safe, super-fun friendship outweighs the drawbacks of: 

  • drooling; 
  • germs; 
  • loud barking; 
  • muddy paws; and 
  • wet doggy smell. 

So he leaves the air freshener attached to Buddy's collar. Cautious wildlife associations and strong security concerns in fact merge Scaredy's nutty adventures into the deep truths of flying squirrel behaviors in North America. They number so high up on northern (Glaucomys sabrinus) and southern (Glaucomys volans) flying squirrel biological imperatives because of mixed forest food chains and predator/prey webs. 

 

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

Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus fuscus) under synonym Pteromys volucella: illustration by John James Audubon (April 26, 1785 – January 27, 1851)
J.J. Audubon, The Quadrupeds of North America, Vol. I (1851), Plate XXVIII, opp. p. 216
J.J. Audubon, The Quadrupeds of North America, Vol. I (1851), Plate XXVIII, opp. p. 216

Scaredy Squirrel fits into North America's wild niches

 

North America's two native flying squirrel species in fact occupy a niche as: 

  • the diminutive predator of small things (beech and hickory nuts, bird eggs, carrion, flowers, fungi, insects, lichen, mushrooms, red and white oak acorns, tree sap, and truffles); and 
  • the petite prey of large foxes, hawks, lynxes, martens, owls, raccoons, and snakes. 

So Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend provides pre-kindergarteners to third-graders aged 4 to 8 years with culturally enriching, educationally entertaining adventures in bio-geographies, life cycles, and natural histories with: 

  • Kids Can Press Ltd. of Toronto, Canada and Tonawanda, New York; 
  • Karen Powers, designer; 
  • Tara Walker, editor; and 
  • Mélanie Watt, author/designer of the Potato Cut-set text's acrylic and charcoal pencil artwork and jacket illustrator.

 

Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend by Mélanie Watt ~ available via Amazon

That lovable little worrywart is back. And he's as scaredy as ever! In his latest adventure, Scaredy Squirrel sets out to make The Perfect Friend.
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.

 

Acorns are important items in flying squirrels' diet: Canyon Oak (Quercus chrysolepis) acorns

Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino Mountains, southern California
Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino Mountains, southern California

Sources Consulted: Scardy Squirrel books sell in English and French

 

Audubon, John James. 1851. The Quadrupeds of North America. Vol. I. New York: V.G. Audubon.

  • Available via Biodiversity Heritage Library at: http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/34896043

Watt, Mélanie. 2007. Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend. Scaredy Squirrel Series Title #2. Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Tonawanda, NY, USA: Kids Can Press. 

 

Southern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys volans): one of only two New World species of flying squirrels

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Photo jigsaw puzzle of Northern Flying Squirrel: 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

Northern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys Sabrinus) in Flight with Coniferous Seed in its Mouth: poster via AllPosters

image by Alexander Badyaev
Northern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys Sabrinus) in Flight with Coniferous Seed in its Mouth

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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