Posted by: Natalie | September 17, 2010

Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt

One of the benefits of being a grown up is that you can truly appreciate the humour and joy in a perfect picture book. Melanie Watt’s Scaredy Squirrel is just such a book.

I  bought this for Steve after we sat and giggled our way through it one day in Waterstones. Watt not only has a beautiful naivety to her illustrations but has a skill for causing fits of giggles in both adults and children.

Scaredy Squirrel spends all his day in his tree, looking out for danger and eating nuts. He is terrified of pretty much everything:

He has an emergency kit in his tree which should hopefully save him from any evil that could befall him. For the most part, Scaredy Squirrel’s life is a fairly mundane series of timetables, diagrams and escape plans (in case of emergency of course).

There are, of course, lots of teaching opportunities to be based on these structural elements, but I refuse to bore you with them now!

But one day, Scaredy Squirrel’s world is turned up side down (almost literally) when the absolute unthinkable happens – Scaredy falls from his tree due to a very frightening thing, without his emergency kit! But, something amazing is about to happen to him which will change his life forever! Or, at the very least it will add another activity to his daily routine.

Melanie Watt has written and illustrated several Scaredy Squirrel books including, Saredy Squirrel Makes a Friend, Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach and Scaredy Squirrel at Night. Watt also has another wonderful series of books surrounding a rather selfish cat called Chester.

It is an absolute must that next time you visit your local book shop you have a browse of their Watt selection. However, you must be warned, spend just two minutes skimming through one of these books and you will instantly need to own the whole collection. We only have a couple at the moment but I am slowly working on it!

But, most excitingly Spring 2011 sees the introduction of the incredibly talented Melanie Watt’s newest creation.

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Responses

  1. This looks like a great book. I’m never good at selecting age-appropriate books for my nephews, nieces and grandkids (who are all 5 years and younger – the older ones are in pre-school programs). What age group would you recommend this book for?

    • These type of books would be perfect, regardless of each child’s reading ability. They obviously teach reading, but they are more about the whole book, the idea of engaging with books and stories. Picture books like this are fab as an adult-child shared read because the picture detail is so rich, if the child isn’t reading yet they can find the things in the pictures that the text refers to. They can develop the story further from what they see and make it more personal. When they are fluent readers they will take just as much enjoyment from the books. And if nothing else, children are a great excuse to treat yourself to a copy!

      Some of my favourites for the 5year+ range are obviously these, Tuesday by David Weisner, books by Julia Donaldson (‘Room on the Broom’ in particular and obviously ‘The Gruffalo’), anything by the Ahlberg’s or Nick Butterworth. Hmmm, I am feeling a post coming on. I know you can get a fantastic version of ‘The Gruffalo’ which doubles up as a puppet theatre. You can read the story but it also contains a ‘script’ and when you fold the hard back covers a certain way it makes a stage for the stick puppets that it also includes. Absolutely gorgeous and so much fun!

      Hope you well Herby, sorry I seem to have waffled on at you!

      Nat x

      • Oh no – you didn’t waffle on at me. I am glad for the advice. I’m going to try find some of these books :)

  2. [...] Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt. A fantastically funny and oh-so-cute book that I once bought for Steve. Melanie Watt is a genius and everyone should experience the Scaredy Squirrel way of life. For a full review click HERE. [...]

  3. [...] I wrote a post about Melanie Watt’s Scaredy Squirrel and a comment from Herby had me waffling away at the poor man. I have my own personal favourites in [...]


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