The original Scaredy title is one of my favourite picture books ever, so funny and original and clever as anything. When I worked at The Flying Dragon I would judge customers according to their response to Scaredy. Those who laughed were cool (and obviously smart too). Those who didn’t? Well, they were just dull, sad excuses for human beings.
Mélanie Watt is crazy talented, and her furry little buddy has become a darling in Can-kid’s lit. Scaredy Squirrel at night is book 4 in the series (after the first and then Scaredy makes a friend and Scaredy at the beach). As much as the follow-up titles continue to be lots of fun (and let me tell ya, the kids can’t get enough), I have to say that the first is absolutely the best. I think that there was something about encountering the jokes for the first time that made them especially delightful. The books that came after are still funny, but they are more like variations on a fantastic theme, and so don’t charm to quite the same level, in my opinion. I hope that Watt won’t take Scaredy in a direction that becomes purely formulaic, because he’s such a neurotic and lovable critter and I wouldn’t want to get tired of him.
Scaredy Squirrel at night brings us another adventure, this time as Scaredy does everything possible to avoid sleep because he’s pretty sure that nasty creatures would show up in his dreams. So instead he keeps busy counting stars, playing the cymbals and scrapbooking. (Love that detail!) As you might expect, something does not go according to plan and much confusion and Scaredy-hysteria ensues. Watt’s illustrations continue to be simple and bold and stylish. The best touch? On the cover, Scaredy’s toothy grin glows in the dark. That, as my students would say, is awesome.
So I’m thinking this is the perfect book to curl up with this evening during Earth Hour, given the theme and the glow-in-the-dark detailing. That’s what I’ll be doing, and some scrapbooking too.
Scaredy Squirrel at night is published by Kids Can Press.