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Friday, June 7, 2013

Ol' Mama Squirrel, written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein. Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin. 2013. $18.00 ages 3 and up

"One afternoon, while the babies were having a scamper on a high branch, a great, growling grizzly bear came to town and climbed into Mama's tree.
Mama Squirrel sprang into action.
"Get out of my tree!"

I am going to have to beg and offer a needed teacher break to get myself into some early years classrooms this month. I so want to share this rowdy and hilarious new book by the author of Interrupting Chicken (Candlewick, 2010).

Mama Squirrel is a force to be reckoned with, and it takes no time for us to understand that! She knows that her babies are in danger. After all, she has birthed and raised many a young one in this same tree over the years. She has no intention of letting any two-legged or four-legged creature, or any high-flying object (aka kite or plane), the opportunity to get close enough to put those babies in jeopardy.

It matters not who comes close, she is prepared to give them a good scolding...CHOOK! CHOOK! CHOOK! They don't stand a chance. She doesn't mind taking on cats, dogs, owls, people. Once she starts admonishing them for the feeling of unease they cause, they are quick to retreat.

Might it work with a grizzly bear? What do you think? She tires the scolding that seems to deter all others. Doesn't cause the bear to blink. She pelts with nuts. Bear only laughs and threatens certain death to the entire family living in that tree. He's hungry, and he's determined. For the first time, Mama Squirrel feels a faint smattering of fear. The bear doesn't know that Mama has just one more trick up her sleeve!

You can see from her fearsome countenance that Mama is as determined as that ol' bear. She sounds the alarm to all other mama squirrels! You know how tenacious Mamas can be, right?

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