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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping, written and illustrated by Melanie Watt. Kids Can Press, 2013. $16.95 ages 5 and up

"Scaredy Squirrel sets up his new television.
But he realizes there's a problem.
He needs to plug it in.

Reaching the nearest electrical outlet
will require major survival skills."

Well, he's back! Who isn't happy to see Scaredy again? Fans will be thrilled, and his new book arrives just in time for the summer camping season and brings with it Melanie Watt's hilarious and impeccable planning for avoidance of anything remotely disturbing to her iconic squirrel friend.

Challenges are not new to Scaredy. Although he is fearful of the outcome, he is ready to tackle those fears while experiencing life near a campground.  There is much to be afraid of...water, skunks, penguins, zippers, quicksand, and even the Three Bears. He is at risk, and would prefer to watch from the safety that his tree provides. Television is his chosen requires electricity! How will he get the power he needs? Well, let's see....

Plugging in the extension cord is his most pressing task. He must get all his protective gear in place before venturing beyond his treetop home. How to get across the entire campground sees him facing some of his most daunting obstacles. When all is said and done, Scaredy finds a new appreciation for nature, and that camping isn't as terrifying and bothersome as he once believed. Primarily, he learns that those things he feared the most are not that bad. Camping could turn out to hold new and wonderful adventure for him!

Kids love Scaredy; he fears those unseen events that also hold terror for some young children. The illustrations are detailed and full of fun, garnering attention and encouraging discussion from the first to the last page. There is always something new to see and the writing is set at the top making it easy for listeners to follow along. There are maps, notes and charts...all in a graphic kind of format. It's full of charm with generous doses of adventure and humor.  

It's no longer as original and groundbreaking as it was in 2006, but that does nothing to lessen its appeal. Scaredy remains fresh and true to his roots. If you know someone who loves nature and camping, this might be just the book!

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