Nuts to You
by Perkins, Lynne Rae

When their friend Jed is snatched up by a hawk and dropped somewhere, squirrels TsTs and Chai embark on a search involving strange communities, new friends and formidable dangers. By the Newbery Medal-winning author of Criss Cross. 75,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.

*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 Reviews.

The gray squirrel Jed's human acquaintance relates this entertaining story of friendship and adventure, beginning with Jed's narrow escape from a hawk and then continuing with a series of tail-raising escapades.An introductory author's note and endnote frame the story as a tale told by the squirrel to the writer. After the hawk snatches Jed, most of his squirrel community gathers for a memorial service. However, his friends TsTs and Chai, sure Jed is alive, bravely follow a trail of "buzzpaths" and "frozen spiderwebs"—utility lines and towers—to find him. The narrator frequently weaves tidbits of natural science, ecology and philosophy, as well as notes about human behavior, into each short, action-packed chapter. Humorous footnotes and direct addresses add to the fun, as in: "To squirrels, ‘Are you nuts?' is a combination of ‘Have you lost your mind?' and ‘You remind me of the most wonderful thing I can think of.' " Adult readers will recognize traces of Watership Down, Beatrix Potter and even the work of cartoonist Gary Larson, but who knew until this book that red squirrels speak with cockney accents? (Or, more realistically, that squirrel homes are called "dreys"?) Strong characterizations carry readers through the episodic adventure. With its unswerving inclusion of predators, habitat destruction and territorial conflict, this novel could have grown dark; instead, it is funny and exuberant. (Fantasy. 7-11) Copyright Kirkus 2014 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Terms of Use   ©Copyright 2020 Follett School Solutions