The Squirrels Who Squabbled – Rachel Bright

After my last post I thought I needed cheering up a little. Eye of the North had plenty of amusing moments but also lots of genuine peril and Home was, well, quite bleak at times (but also sometimes beautiful – you should still give it a try): it was time to get in touch with my own inner five-year-old and giggle at a picture book. And now, a day or so later, I’m still smiling as I remember it…

9781408340486The squirrels in question are Spontaneous Cyril* and Plan Ahead Bruce** who have very different approaches to life. Like Aesop’s ant and grasshopper one has partied away the summer months and the other has worked hard to store up supplies and they have both spotted the very last nut of autumn. The race to bag the prize leads them on a merry chase and, finally, to a happy ending. It is a really simple story, obviously, but one which is going to be a favourite one to read out loud. The rhymes are infectious and there is a gentle moral at the end but for me the absolute glory of the book is the illustration style. The squirrels themselves are full of character (but really quite realistic too) but it is the backgrounds which I really loved. They are beautiful, soft, autumnal scenes full of colour and detail which had me itching to get my hands on some soft pastels.

I’m going to enjoy recommending this book to lots of kids, parents, carers and teachers. Especially if they let me read it to them first…


*To be honest, I was hooked as soon as I saw the words ‘Spontaneous Cyril’…

**Which made it very hard not to read the rest of the book, after meeting Bruce, in an Australian accent…


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