I discovered Scaredy Squirrel in 2010, after being told that I was very much like the loveable, but highly-neurotic, rodent. Obviously, I was curious to know what the connection was, and took out a bunch of Watt’s books from the library.
Scaredy Squirrel isn’t too far removed from Woody Allen’s more neurotic personages, the ones that have extremely challenging social and behavioral inadequacies! I adore Woody Allen, so you can imagine the appeal!
What I find most interesting is how these books are geared towards children. Neuroses are hardly concepts that children would grasp easily – but they’re human foibles, and I suspect that kids recognize them in the world around them. So, poking fun at them slightly and showing children that they’re surmountable is not such a bad lesson learned.
And it’s all wrapped-up in a nice package: the artwork is excellent. In fact, I’d call this eye-candy: the characters are cute, the designs are clean, the lay-outs are sparse and fun, the colours are vibrant yet simple. This is the case for all the Mélanie Watt books I’ve read so far.
‘Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party’ was given to me by the same friend who introduced me to these books. Perhaps it’s because it was a birthday gift and, thus, it was timely and I could relate to it more closely, but it’s one of my favorites.
It’s a quick read, though, but it’s oodles of good times and chuckles. I’d recommend it to many families (it might make for a fun bedtime story!). And to the young at heart – to those who can still connect with the children they once were.
While I still wonder just how complimentary the comparison with Scaredy Squirrel truly is, I’m hardly insulted: I fully enjoy his amusing personal crises, and I look forward to his next ones. In the meantime, I’ll revisit his previous ones.