cover image Nuts!


Lou Peacock, illus. by Yasmeen Ismail. Nosy Crow, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0824-5

Two bushy-tailed squirrels squabble over some food in this spare, exclamation-filled story about sharing. “Nuts! My nuts,” the first squirrel exclaims, hugging an acorn to its chest. “Nuts! My nuts,” a second echoes, spotting the same bounty. After a literal tug-of-war commences, other forest creatures take sides: the bear is with the first squirrel; a mouse and badger are with squirrel two. A peace-maker rabbit suggests sharing, but the stubborn protagonists aren’t ready for compromise, and a center spread explodes with a dozen “My nuts!” as a dual tantrum unfolds—even a snail is flipped onto its back in the melee. In the following wordless spreads, the pair first sits sullenly, then shares unhappy glances. Finally, one breaks the ice (“Our nuts?”), and the other concedes (“Our nuts!”). They hug joyously and go on their way—until one spots a new edible: “Apples!” Fortunately, the former adversaries waste no time bickering before beginning to munch companionably. Ismail’s exuberant, wash-like mixed-media illustrations are a perfect match for this high-energy tale about two squirrels who discover that “our” can be just as rewarding as “my.” Ages 2–5. [em](Sept.) [/em]