cover image Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party

Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party

Mélanie Watt, Kids Can, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-55453-468-5

It shouldn't surprise readers that Scaredy Squirrel doesn't like, well, surprises. And, as his fifth picture book demonstrates, that includes birthday party surprises, even when it's his birthday. Scaredy is all too aware of the pitfalls that can spoil such an occasion: confetti, Bigfoot, clownfish, ants, ponies, and porcupines. His solution? Scaredy Squirrel, party of one, please. But Scaredy's plan to not invite any guests gets tossed aside when he receives a birthday card from Buddy the dog; he invites Buddy, a "risky move!" that upends the rest of Scaredy's porcupine- and pony-defying preparations when Buddy shows up with several canine friends. After freaking out ("He chases... He screams... He ducks... He freezes and... PLAYS DEAD"), Scaredy realizes (as usual) that all his worrying is for naught. Might the panphobic squirrel finally be cured? Don't bet on it, but kids should have as much fun as ever following along as Watt shares Scaredy's idea of party small talk ("So, do you come here often?") and birthday dos and don'ts. Hint: the only "do" is "sit quietly." Ages 3–8. (Feb.)