Tuesday, September 09, 2014
Nuts to You
"Nuts to you" might have been what I was saying on Saturday when the class cold hit me so hard there was nothing I could do but lie in bed and create a mountain of soggy kleenex on the floor beside me. When I felt better enough to sit up for some soup and hot tea with honey and lemon (and more than a small splash of Old Charter), I picked up this recent library reserve and within 20 pages was laughing out loud and thanking my class for sharing the germs that stopped me from doing anything more than sitting up in bed reading:
Nuts to You
by Lynne Rae Perkins
Greenwillow Books, 2014
This story was ostensibly told by a squirrel to the author. That may or may not be the factual truth, but since it's a rollicking good story, let's just go with that. Like another favorite Perkins title, As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth (my gushing review here), there are interruptions by the (human) author, footnotes, and illustrations that clearly demonstrate that Perkins has done her fair share of squirrel-watching.
The story begins when the grey squirrel Jed is carried away by a hawk, manages to trick the hawk into dropping him, and lands fairly softly on a dog and then in a pile of leaves. (Journey #1) Luckily, his friend TsTs sees where he lands and sets off with another squirrel friend, Chai, to find him. (Journey #2) Along the way, they discover that the rumblings they've been hearing are a crew of humans who are clearing the trees from the "buzzpath" (power lines). And the crew is headed right to their home grove. After they find Jed, they have to get back and warn their friends and family. (Journey #3) Convincing squirrels to do anything as organized as run away from a danger they cannot yet see is as easy as herding cats (apparently). But Jed and friends manage. (Journey #4)
Fun stuff. Perfect middle grade (grades 3-5) novel. Will be a fabulous read aloud.