Monday, March 26, 2007

The Perils of Friendship

Make a new friend? Not only do you have to leave your home and venture into The Unknown, but what about the perils like germs and the possibility of being bitten? These are elements of friendship that you and I may have long forgotten, but if you are Scaredy Squirrel or a toddler who has been on the receiving end of a nip from a dog or a playmate, you know how real these dangers can be.

I had purchased the Cybils award-winning Scaredy Squirrel last month. I then received a review catalog from Kids Can Press and saw that Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend was available. I loved the first book, so I was excited to see what the second book held in store. To be honest, when I first read it, I was a bit disappointed. I had enjoyed Scaredy Squirrel for so many reasons: it's humor, it's life lesson, and how it appealed to both my two year old and my eight year old. High expectations are hard to live up to, so I wanted to wait until we read the book a few more times before I wrote about it.

Sure enough, my opinions have changed. I know that my eight-year-old daughter still prefers the first book to the second one, simply because it is a bit zanier and off-the-wall, but I would be hard-pressed to choose a favorite between them, and I think that my almost three-year-old son prefers the second book. I think that the story is a bit easier to follow, especially for a younger reader.

The lesson this time around is friendship. If you read this blog regularly, you know that friendship is one the issues that is close to my heart (you can click the label to read more of my posts on this topic). Friendship takes effort. Sometimes it's scary, for adults and children, not to mention squirrels who are a bit afraid to venture into The Unknown. Scaredy Squirrel finds a safe friend worth pursuing, and the book includes a great quiz which helps him evaluate friend-potential in those he meets ("How many teeth do you have? A. 0, B. 10, C. 100, D. 1000"), but along the way his mind is changed about who the ideal friend might be.

A third Scaredy Squirrel book is in the works, according to the author interview, which appeared here on the Cybils site. I think that Amanda, Kyle and I will all be glad to find out what new obstacle he's able to conquer. I recommend both books for your collection for older toddlers up to age eight (see my full review of the first book HERE).

Elise at A Path Made Straight has started a feature called Children's Book Monday where we are invited to review or discuss a children's book and link up so that we can read what others are reviewing. I am all about promoting that, and I think it's great that people are starting to jump on board. I have seen posts crop up here and there over the last couple of weeks, and you can tell that they are written by people who truly love and appreciate children's literature.


Cari said...

What a fun book topic! I think the quiz sounds fun. I can see that being a great discussion starter in our house. "What would you look for in a friend? How can you tell if a person has these qualities?" etc.

Emmie said...

I wish I was six or seven so I can really enjoy all these books. Thanks for the review -- I'll sneak into the children's section once I go to a book store. ^_^

robert.swayze said...

Wow thats so sweet...really! thanks a ton for posting such reviews...I visualized my childhood...the moment I was redaing ur blog..will try getting hold of these books soon! U can also take a look at my blog where u'll be heaped with loads of stuffs on friendship :)

Elise said...

Looks great, Jennifer! Thanks for joining in - I think my boys, 5 and 7, will both enjoy this book, too!

org junkie said...

I think my son would like the Scaredy Squirrel...especially the first one...will definitely look for that in our local library.


Katrina said...

Okay, so are they basing the Scaredy Squirrel stories on my own personal fears and insecurities? 'Cause it sure sounds like it! Thanks for the review. We love the first one (thank you for suggesting that one!) and I'm sure I'll be looking to pick this one up sometime, too.