Girl Versus Squirrel

Holiday House/Margaret Ferguson Bks. Jun. 2020. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823442515.
K-Gr 2–Pearl is a young girl who has built three lovely bird feeders in her backyard. As she proudly watches birds come feed from them, she is surprised that none have touched her favorite one—a teacup filled with peanuts. She soon realizes that there is a dastardly squirrel absconding with the food. This discovery begins a test of wills as Pearl uses Rube Goldberg–like ingenuity to build outrageous contraptions to outsmart the wily rodent. Instead of being vanquished, the squirrel excels at climbing higher, and he also walks across tightropes and jumps through nets. When Pearl realizes this ninja-like squirrel is actually a mother taking the peanuts to feed her babies, she feels an affinity towards this creature and that puts them on the same team. Pearl sets about creating even more elaborate bird-feeder contraptions to help these young squirrels become as nimble and speedy as their mother. A squirrel fact page is included at the end of the book.
VERDICT A compelling and generous addition to picture book collections that can inspire young naturalists and builders, and create a well of empathy in storytimes.

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