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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Scaredy Squirrel prepares for Christmas, written and illustrated by Melanie Watt. Kids Can Press, 2012. $18.95 ages 8 and up

It's important to dress up for your holiday party. When you see loved ones you haven't seen in a while, you have to look your best and make a perfect lasting impression! Option A: the classic Christmas-themed sweater look - a popular choice for those who want to blend in with the Christmas scenery..."

Scaredy's sixth book is also his first chapter book...and I know just how he feels. My days are a constantly changing list, and it never seems to help me see the light at the end of the tunnel. I could use his neurotic list making acumen to help me through the next two weeks.

Because of its length and the many understandings that readers will have to have about Christmas doings and traditions, this book seems geared for an older audience. I can hear the guffawing in both intermediate and middle years classrooms. It is, once more, a safety guide and there are many warnings attached and discussed. There are eight chapters and a preface...Christmas Is Coming, Christmas Decorations, Holiday Sweets, Christmas Gifts, Christmas Characters, Christmas Pet Peeves, Christmas Fun and my particular favorite because it is so in keeping with Scaredy's persona...If All Else Fails. You can imagine!!

There are a multitude of tips that he is willing to share, and please remember that he expects you to take them seriously. There are some red things to avoid when it comes to decorating: dynamite, street signs, chili peppers, dragons, poisonous berries, and fire hydrants. Oh, and green ones, too: Martians, tons of air fresheners, catnip, caterpillars, poison ivy and bullfrogs. There is no end to the advice he is eager to impart.

There`s lots to giggle about even for little listeners, but the laughs will come from the older kids who really understand the many references Scaredy makes. It`s a book about voice, about character, and about making lists as a way to get kids writing. It`s quite unique to tell a whole story using lists, and it makes for a most enjoyable read.

Just one more thing, from my favorite chapter:

Should an Abominable Snowman crash the Christmas celebrations play dead! While doing so, have some fun by making a few graceful moves that will eventually be a snow just takes some time because you don`t dare let the AS discover your deception!  

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