Nuts to You

by Lynne Rae Perkins

When gray squirrel Jed is snatched by a hawk, he manages to slip from its clutches... read more

When gray squirrel Jed is snatched by a hawk, he manages to slip from its clutches but ends up far from home (at least in squirrel terms). Jed’s friends TsTs and Chai go looking for him, following the buzzpaths (electric lines) toward where TsTs saw Jed fall. Jed, meanwhile, has landed among a group of red squirrels. He finds it hard at first to understand their accents but kindness needs no translation. The three friends are reunited just before humans with tree chewers (chainsaws) come through clearing away trees from the wires. Not that the squirrels understand this. They only see destruction and realize their own families and friends are in jeopardy. Tchotchke, a singular red squirrel, joins the race back to the gray squirrel community. To convince the gray squirrels to flee before the tree chewers arrive, the friends devise a grand game called “Move.” Squirrels, it turns out, are very competitive. (“How are we choosing teams? … Counting off, rhyming, or tails in?”) Lynne Rae Perkins’s adventure story is both comic and heroic, with a wonderful squirrel’s-eye view of aspects of our own world, and imaginative insight into everyday squirrel behavior that is funny and logical both. Clever language and occasional footnotes and black-and-white drawings add to the delight. (Ages 6–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2015

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