cover image Squirrel's New Year's Resolution

Squirrel's New Year's Resolution

Pat Miller, illus. by Kathi Ember, Albert Whitman, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8075-7591-8

Miller and Ember (Substitute Groundhog) reunite to tell the story of Squirrel, who is eager to make a New Year's resolution but isn't sure where to start ("Is it like making a snack?"). Her friend Bear explains the concept ("A resolution is a promise you make to yourself to be better or to help others"), but Squirrel is then faced with a new problem—coming up with one. As she visits Skunk, Mole, and Turtle and hears their plans for the New Year, Squirrel's desire to help her friends with their resolutions distracts her from her quest to find one. Ember's thoughtfully detailed acrylic paintings create a friendly woodland setting for this largely conflict-free story. In the end, Squirrel discovers that she had a resolution all along: to help others daily. This story teeters on being overly didactic (a final scene that shows Squirrel holding a sign that reads "I resolve to help someone every day!" is overkill), but it should get kids considering resolutions of their own. Ages 5–8. (Sept.)