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Friday, March 21, 2014

Five on Friday - Five Picture Books that made me smile, and often laugh out loud

Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt.
Scaredy Squirrel can't seem to stop being, well, Scaredy Squirrel.  In Scaredy's newest adventure, it is falling asleep and dreaming of scaredy things that has got his tail in a bunch.  Watt uses her usual format of first jumping into the specific anxiety-producing list which often includes those dreaded killer bees, and then proceeds with the plan to then avert the potential crisis.  In this case the ways to stay awake are 1) playing the cymbals, 2) scrapbooking, and 3) counting stars.  Does Scaredy stay awake? Does the strategy work? It is all very predictable, albeit hilarious.  However,  I have always loved that Scaredy is problem solver who approaches each situation by making a  specific plan, no matter how wacky. 
Sparky! by Jenny Offill and Chris Appelhans.
Sparky is the story of a sloth who arrives by Express Mail, the perfect pet for a little girl who is advised by her mother that the best pet is one that doesn't need to be "walked or bathed or fed."
Sleeping 16 hours a day is good for that.  But other pets, the little girl finds, have special talents.  Quickly she advertises a performance for Sparky to showcase the tricks she hopes to be able to teach her pet.  Will Sparky be able to do anything besides play possum? What exactly must a pet be able to do to be the perfect pet?  You might be surprised.

Superworm by Julia Donalson and Axel Scheffler
Meet Superworm, a creature of more talents than you might think.  Fellow creatures in this earthy homeland know that Superworm can become whatever the situation requires; a skipping rope, a fishing line, a lasso, a crane, a swing, or slide.  Superworm is ever so helpful to all.  Alas, Wizard Lizard has other plans.  He wants to harness Superworm to dig until he unearths some treasure, or else be eaten by a hungry hench-crow.  What will the forest critters do to save their friend from such a fate?
How to Train a Train by Jason Carter Eaton and John Rocco
I had planned on not liking How to Train a Train, but got derailed.  This delightful 'pet' training guide provides detailed steps on Train care. It is a comprehensive manual for catching, keeping, naming and training Trains.  Would you have any idea where to look for a Train in the wild? Would you be able to select an appropriate name, be it Milo or Smokey or Captain Foofamaloo?  Would you know how to make new friends for your Train, like airplanes, trucks or submarines? You will happily pass up a  Pomeranian after enjoying this tale of a companion from the other side of the track.
Sophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller and Anne Wilsdorf
One day at the Farmer's Market, Sophie met a squash that she had to have. Sophie's parents were surprised to find that Sophie's plans for her little squash did not include brown sugar! Her new squash fit perfectly in her arms and in her life.  They snuggled, rolled down hills, read together and genuinely loved each others company.  However, after a while Sophie's squash began to look a little worse for wear, and so she took it back to the Farmer's Market to visit some friends.  The farmer gave Sophie some advice about just what her squash needed.  After lovingly covering her friend in some soft earth for some R&R (and a change of seasons), Sophie found come spring that her squash family had grown.  This little tale gives new meaning to loving your vegetables.

Submitted by Andrea Perry


  1. Great choices--especially one of my favorite series: Scaredy Squirrel!

  2. My question is: why do sssso many sssssmile-raising book titles sssstart with an S?
    (I also have to mention that when I was 5, I tucked my little Hallowe'en pumpkin into my doll buggy (canvas, not plastic) with the other "children." Mom didn't find it until teensy fruit flies took over my bedroom. . . .)