|Nuts to you|
Author: Perkins, Lynne Rae
After surviving being carried off by a hawk, a young squirrel resolves to find his way home, as his best friends begin their search for him.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 168470
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 3.20
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 66673
Kirkus Reviews (07/15/14)
School Library Journal (07/01/14)
Booklist (+) (08/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (01/15)
The Hornbook (+) (00/11/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2014 *Starred Review* This efficient and effective metaparable by Newbery medalist Perkins has a central message that is explicitly stated when a squirrel announces to the narrator that “I just wish . . . humans understood how important trees are.” The story begins when a squirrel named Jed is carried away by a hawk and yet cleverly finds a way to elude certain fatality, at which point the reader is directly addressed: “Do we feel sorry for the hawk, who has just lost his supper . . . and is taught a hard truth?” Fortunately, a fellow squirrel witnesses Jed’s escape from afar and leads a search team through the forest to find him and bring him home, a journey that involves danger, humor, adventure, environmentalism, and friends both old and new. The squirrel POV includes clever wordplay: power lines are “buzzpaths,” for example. Rustic spot and full-page line drawings (not all seen at time of review) and the many asides and footnotes further enhance the gentle, smoothly literary narrative. Perkins clearly respects both her text and her reader while deftly managing many moving parts within a relatively small space, even at one point acknowledging that there are indeed “a lot” of squirrels involved here. All together, this is a lovely and insightful creation. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2014 Gr 3–6—As explained in an Author's Note at the start, Perkins was told this tale by a talking squirrel whom she met while enjoying a peanut butter sandwich on a park bench. When a squirrel is captured by a hawk and flown off to an uncertain fate, two of his friends set off in pursuit. Partway through their rescue mission, they encounter humans who are trimming trees which have grown around the power lines (the squirrels call these "buzzpaths"). Now they must not only bring their friend home, but also warn all the squirrels in the vicinity to flee from the impending depredation of swaths of their forest. Part of the tension and humor stems from the ways in which the motivations of humans and squirrels are inexplicable to each other. Perkins elucidates delightfully, as when she tells readers that "'TsTs' is currently the most frequently given girl squirrel name, the 'Emma' of squirrel names." This is a small story made larger by the ways readers can enjoy Perkins's whimsical conception of squirrel civilization. Some deeper themes may prompt readers to question their interactions with the natural world. The author's light touch is maintained by her profuse spot and full-page illustrations throughout.—Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NY - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2015 When a hawk flies off with Jed, a gray squirrel, he manages to extricate himself only to land in an unfamiliar realm populated by red squirrels. Meanwhile, Jed’s friends TsTs and Chai leave in search of Jed; the three friends eventually reunite, but they are separated again when humans with chainsaws begin cutting down swaths of trees along the power lines that Chai and TsTs have followed to find Jed. The three friends realize that this tree-felling will reach their home, so they return to save family and friends. While there’s a touch of hokeyness in the framing device, wherein the author converses with a squirrel, the story by Newbery winner Perkins is energetic, thoughtful, and amusing, and the short chapters and quick pace will keep kids moving through the text. This would also lend itself to reading aloud-the red squirrels’ rural dialect in particular would be a hoot to attempt. Perkins’ delicate yet sturdy art appears throughout and brings readers into her well-imagined squirrel world. Hand this lively tale to both the nature-loving kids and the animal fantasy lovers. JH - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.