The best books about squirrels

1 authors have picked their favorite books about squirrels and why they recommend each book.

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Dog Man

By Dav Pilkey,

Book cover of Dog Man: A Graphic Novel

My son got my grandson a box of the first three Dog Man books for his birthday. A dog's head on a human body working as a policeman. My grandson was furious at the time. He did not want sucky books. When the party was over and the birthday boy was in bed over tired and grumpy, grandpa took out the offending books and start to read aloud. They are so silly, bad spelling but funny, funny to a 6-year-old boy. I actually found it hilarious too. My grandson laughed his head off. And that is why I recommend these books.  Children need to laugh. These books make a lot of kids laugh.  


Who am I?

I really am passionate about children and education. Reading to children is such a joy especially when they snuggle in and get absorbed in the story. Education is the only way to achieve some sort of equity in our world. The world I knew as a child is no more and that is a good thing. Cruel biases and intolerance hurt so many. Today there is more freedom and the potential to live true to yourself whatever that may be. I like books that show the diversity of our humanity, that can be read to children to broaden their understanding, acceptance, and tolerance of family which may be very different from their own.


I wrote...

Basil's Unkie Herb

By Mary Shaw,

Book cover of Basil's Unkie Herb

What is my book about?

Basil’s Unkie Herb is a book about family, perception, and marriage equality. The book uses Basil’s birthday parties to detail how Unkie Herb’s birthday surprises usually have a funny or disastrous ending depending on your perception. The reader learns not to judge by appearances, Fred who owns a donkey and garbage truck is actually a veterinarian; the dangerous motorcycle riders turn out to be Basil’s teacher and Nana’s doctor. 

The book ends with Mom explaining to Basil that Unkie Herb and his boyfriend Ricardo can marry if they love each other because “where we live you can marry whomever you love.” This is a funny, laugh-out-loud book with a happy ending for everyone.

Scaredy Squirrel

By Mélanie Watt,

Book cover of Scaredy Squirrel

This book is adorable and hilarious. It takes worries to the nth degree which can help children realize they are not the only ones filled with anxiety. Scaredy Squirrell thinks about the pros and cons of taking risks and eventually figures out a way to get what he wants in spite of his worries. I think this is really helpful to teach coping skills. Anxiety doesn’t always go away but we can learn tools to deal with it. 

Both my daughter and I have issues with anxiety except I didn’t know I had it too until I started trying to help her navigate her fears. This book was a fun way to laugh about both of our aversions to taking risks.


Who am I?

I'm not really an expert on anxiety other than being an adult who suffers from it. I thought I was normal and everyone felt the way I did until I started looking for books to help my daughter with her panic attacks and I realized I have it too! I've since been diagnosed and lead a pretty great life with the help of therapy and medication. What parents share with their children during nightly story reading or on the couch to read a few books is very bonding and intimate. I think that's the best time for kids to ask their parents questions and share their emotions. My goal is to help those conversations happen.


I wrote...

It's Not About You, Little Hoo!

By Brenda Ponnay,

Book cover of It's Not About You, Little Hoo!

What is my book about?

This is a story of a little anxious owl who thinks everything is his fault. His friends run off, he thinks they don’t like him, his bike doesn’t work, he thinks he’s a bad bike rider, he gets picked last for the soccer team, he feels rejected… but his father, Papa Hoo, tells him gently why each scenario is actually not about him at all. His friends had to go home for dinner, his bike needed a tune-up, and somebody has to get picked last. Not everything is personal. 

As an adult I was excluded accidentally from a group trip and it hurt my feelings. The more I sat with these feelings, I realized they came from childhood feelings of being left out. I wrote this children’s book to help other anxious people like me. 

Flora & Ulysses

By Kate DiCamillo, K.G. Campbell (illustrator),

Book cover of Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

Clever, comic-book reading, word-loving Flora is more cynical than ever since her parents’ separation. She’s sure her mother loves a shepherdess lamp more than her own daughter. When Flora saves a squirrel sucked up by a neighbor’s vacuum and he returns with super strength and the ability to understand language and write poetry, she finds a kindred spirit. I love this book for its colorful (human and squirrel) characters and subtle exploration of family dynamics. And I love that Flora’s journey, which is emotional rather than physical, isn’t wrapped up with a tidy bow at the end.


Who am I?

As a girl, I would roll around on the floor with my Labrador retriever, beg my parents for horseback-riding lessons, and dream of being a vet. A proficiency in language and lack of science skills led me to writing instead, but my intense love of animals never waned. I adore adventure stories featuring animal characters and human ones, and some form of communication between them. That’s why I wrote Shannon’s Odyssey which, like many Middle Grade novels, also explores family secrets and the all-important act of forgiveness. It’s not fantasy but contains mystical elements rooted in reality, because who doesn’t want to believe magic exists in our everyday lives?


I wrote...

Shannon's Odyssey

By S.M. Stevens,

Book cover of Shannon's Odyssey

What is my book about?

Shannon Simpson has a kind soul, sometimes questionable judgment, and courage to spare. When her parents are seriously hurt in a car accident, she treks a hundred miles through the forest seeking her long-lost grandmother, rather than stay with the mean, smelly Zielinskis. Finding Gran means navigating safely through the woods with only a compass, her wits, and a mysterious, possibly magical marra mamba stone to guide her. During her journey, Shannon faces bad weather, injuries, hunger, thirst, and wild critters–some nice and some not so nice. To her amazement, she realizes she can communicate with the animals. And she uncovers secrets about her family and herself. (Fun fact: My daughter illustrated the cover.)

Tree

By Britta Teckentrup,

Book cover of Tree: A Peek-Through Board Book

There’s so much to look at in this beautiful book which follows a tree through the seasonal cycle. The gentle rhyming text is accompanied by colourful peek-through illustrations, with an owl cleverly joined by more and more woodland animals as the seasons turn towards midsummer’s night. I had to read this one again and again, following not just the tree but the foxes, birds, and even a spider’s web through the seasons.


Who am I?

I grew up in London, close to Richmond Park, where I got to know many of the characters who have since popped up in my stories. I bird-watched, caterpillar-collected, and pond-dipped, and my bedroom had a floating population of minibeasts. My first picture book, Fred and the Little Egg, was about a bear cub trying to hatch an acorn, and my stories have continued to reflect my love of nature. My Fletcher’s Four Seasons series follows a kind-hearted fox cub as he explores his wood through the changing seasons. I hope my books will inspire children to explore and care for the natural world too.


I wrote...

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

By Julia Rawlinson, Tiphanie Beeke (illustrator),

Book cover of Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

What is my book about?

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves was inspired by my son asking me to fix a fallen leaf back onto its tree. Fox cub Fletcher is worried when his beautiful tree starts to lose its leaves. He does everything he can to save them, but it’s just no use. When the final leaf has ‘plipped’ off, Fletcher feels all hope has gone… until he goes back the next day and a glorious sight awaits him.

This tender, uplifting tale of friendship and hope, with glorious watercolour illustrations by Tiphanie Beeke, is the first book in Fletcher’s Four Seasons series. Kindness, nature discovery, and a sparkling surprise ending!

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 1

By Ryan North, Erica Henderson (illustrator),

Book cover of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 1: Squirrel Power

Marvel’s wide array of movies and TV shows have brought many of their heroes to life, but unfortunately, Squirrel Girl has yet to make the jump. This is a shame, since she’s defeated some of Marvel’s most dastardly foes in incredibly creative ways. She eats nuts, she kicks butts, and she uses her squirrel-based abilities to tackle villains with her own optimistic, STEM-infused perspective. North’s writing is charming and hilarious, and Henderson’s art is a perfect pairing that sets the book’s fun, energetic tone. It’s such a good time, basically joy distilled into comic book form.


Who am I?

I’ve been a comic book nerd forever and a comic book historian for the past fifteen years, specializing in the history of female superheroes and writing books about Wonder Woman, Lois Lane, Catwoman, and more. A lot of amazing heroines have been featured in adaptations that have introduced them to a larger audience, but there are so many other great characters still waiting to get their chance to shine. I’m excited to share a few of them that I really love with you here, as well as spotlight a diverse collection of creators and characters that deserve a closer look.


I wrote...

Not All Supermen: Sexism, Toxic Masculinity, and the Complex History of Superheroes

By Tim Hanley,

Book cover of Not All Supermen: Sexism, Toxic Masculinity, and the Complex History of Superheroes

What is my book about?

The book is a broad overview of trends in the superhero industry that explores how sexism has been wired into the genre from its earliest days and how that sexism has lingered and led to the rise of toxic masculinity in comics, adaptations, and fandom. It examines how the nostalgia-heavy genre enshrines outdated values of the past, with sexist tropes and attitudes woven into the fabric of its stories, and how catering to a male audience combined with the persistent devaluing of women through omission and objectification to create toxic forms of masculinity.

The Leaf Thief

By Alice Hemming, Nicola Slater (illustrator),

Book cover of The Leaf Thief

This hilarious tale of a squirrel struggling to cope with its tree losing its leaves in autumn shares a theme with Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, but makes it very much its own thanks to its delightfully dramatic main character. Squirrel is a hoot from start to finish, outraged one minute, trying to relax with yoga and a hot bath the next. The book has colourful, expressive illustrations, a wonderful final page twist, and some bonus facts at the back about autumn, trees, and squirrels.

Who am I?

I grew up in London, close to Richmond Park, where I got to know many of the characters who have since popped up in my stories. I bird-watched, caterpillar-collected, and pond-dipped, and my bedroom had a floating population of minibeasts. My first picture book, Fred and the Little Egg, was about a bear cub trying to hatch an acorn, and my stories have continued to reflect my love of nature. My Fletcher’s Four Seasons series follows a kind-hearted fox cub as he explores his wood through the changing seasons. I hope my books will inspire children to explore and care for the natural world too.


I wrote...

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

By Julia Rawlinson, Tiphanie Beeke (illustrator),

Book cover of Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

What is my book about?

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves was inspired by my son asking me to fix a fallen leaf back onto its tree. Fox cub Fletcher is worried when his beautiful tree starts to lose its leaves. He does everything he can to save them, but it’s just no use. When the final leaf has ‘plipped’ off, Fletcher feels all hope has gone… until he goes back the next day and a glorious sight awaits him.

This tender, uplifting tale of friendship and hope, with glorious watercolour illustrations by Tiphanie Beeke, is the first book in Fletcher’s Four Seasons series. Kindness, nature discovery, and a sparkling surprise ending!

Heartwood

By Pollyanna Darling, Kirsty Chalmers (illustrator),

Book cover of Heartwood

A fable about forest creatures coming together and putting differences aside to save their home from the Smashbasher. This book is an early chapter book for 7-9-year-olds and includes beautiful illustrations. The trees have names and are inhabited by various creatures. Heartwood will bring children closer to the magic of the forest and nature. 

I recommend this book because I live in the redwood forest and love trees myself. The book captures the essence of the magic we feel when we enter an unspoiled forest, and how important it is to protect these sacred and life-giving places. The fact that the only way for the forest creatures to save their home is to find their similarities and work together strikes me as particularly relevant today.


Who am I?

I grew up playing in nature: body surfing the waves in Southern California, backpacking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, swimming in rivers. For the past thirty years, I’ve lived in the redwoods of Northern California. Spending so much time in the peace and beauty of nature has filled me with joy and deep respect for the incredibly interconnectedness of living ecosystems. I’ve also had a lifelong passion for reading, especially fairy tales, fables and fantasies. Combining nature and fantasy in my writing allows me to explore ideas and inspirations about how we can live in harmony on our one beautiful planet.


I wrote...

Wind

By Ellen Dee Davidson,

Book cover of Wind

What is my book about?

Thrust by an earthquake into a world where trees are wise helpers, animals can guide us to safety, stories are gathered by the guardian of the deep sea, and greed becomes a place where everything turns to poison, Katie must learn to get along with an annoying alien boy, Za, in order to return home. But as Katie’s experiences test her environmental awareness, will she ever be able to develop her gifts of listening and communicating with the non-human realm? Will she and Za ever figure out the secret to finding the elusive Winged Ones – the only beings capable of taking them home?

No Matter What

By Josh Shipp, Yuliya Pankratova (illustrator), David Tieche (contributor)

Book cover of No Matter What: A Foster Care Tale

Josh Shipp, a former at-risk foster kid turned youth advocate and TEDx speaker brings us this beautiful mostly autobiographical story of a squirrel who needs a family, but also kinda doesn’t want one. But also does. The quality of fost/adopt books for children has been lacking in the past, but Shipp takes fost/adopt literature to a whole new level with engaging, gorgeous illustrations and the perfect balance of humor and depth. I love that he’s a former foster youth with a mission to help kids find their one caring adult (and for adults to be one!) This is a must-have for any foster or adoptive family’s shelf (and anyone who knows, works with, teaches, counsels, or interacts with children in this situation). 


Who am I?

As a birth, foster, adoptive, and pseudo mom to many children, I know firsthand how hard it is to find quality literature that reflects their experience and gives them skills for their own life journey. As a therapist, certified in trauma and resilience, having spent many years in social services, I also see the lack of resources available to caregivers, teachers, and counselors. It's my passion to help remove shame, build resilience, and reclaim hope in the lives of each member of these families. I’ve done this through a TEDx talk on the power of story on the brain, authored multiple books, speak regularly, offer trainings, and private parent coaching.


I wrote...

Speranza's Sweater: A Child's Journey Through Foster Care and Adoption

By Marcy Pusey,

Book cover of Speranza's Sweater: A Child's Journey Through Foster Care and Adoption

What is my book about?

Kids deserve a safe place to live and grow and learn. For some kids, this means living with foster or adoptive parents. Speranza wears her sweater everywhere, hanging onto the last memories of her birth home until it’s threadbare. Like her unraveled sweater, Speranza must weave together a new story, bringing threads from her past and strands from her present, into a future of love, family, and the true meaning of home.

This heart-warming story provides hope and support for the many mixed emotions a child will experience during their foster and adoption journey, through the unraveling and re-weaving of a favorite sweater. Speranza’s Sweater includes a dictionary of words to empower children and their carers by understanding the language used around them.

Find Fergus

By Mike Boldt,

Book cover of Find Fergus

Poor Fergus is no good at hiding. In this funny seek-and-find book, Fergus, a big brown bear with glasses, gets tips from the narrator on how to get better at hiding. As the story goes on, Fergus starts to blend in better with the crowds, and it gets trickier and trickier to spot him. It’s a great read-aloud, and kids will find it hilarious how bad he is at hiding at first. But they’ll need to use their eagle eyes when all the fun characters from the book come together in a big crowd at the end.


Who am I?

I am the author-illustrator of funny picture books for kids, including the interactive book, Animals Go Vroom!. As an illustrator, I revel in creating jokes and storylines in the pictures that kids can follow along with by themselves. And as a mother of two small children myself, I know first-hand the magical experience of reading books with toddlers that keep them guessing and giggling along the way.


I wrote...

Animals Go Vroom!

By Abi Cushman,

Book cover of Animals Go Vroom!

What is my book about?

With a nod to Richard Scarry, this interactive picture book surprises readers with every turn of the page!

Hiss! Screech! Roar! It’s a noisy day in Bumperville! But are the sounds what you think they are? That Honk! must surely be a goose. But turn the page and it’s the taxi that a goose is driving! Using cleverly placed die-cuts, this inventive book hints at what is making the sound, but with each turn of the page, it’s an eye-opening surprise and part of an unfolding story that is part guessing game and part giggle-inducing caper.

Boot & Shoe

By Marla Frazee,

Book cover of Boot & Shoe

Boot and Shoe are siblings and best pals. They live together in the same house and do everything together, but they are each in charge of opposite porches: Boot can be found guarding the back porch, while Shoe takes care of the front porch. Until one day, when a squirrel ran amok around their house and turned everything upside down. Now, where is Boot? And where is Shoe? And can they find each other again? You can’t help but be fully invested in these two adorable doggie characters. 


Who am I?

I am a librarian and a picture book author/illustrator – it’s a perfect combination as I get to spend lots of time around books. I’m also a huge animal lover, with a special fondness for dogs. I can’t resist a picture book about dogs, and it’s no surprise that my first picture book was based on a true story about one very brave little dog. It is not easy to recommend only 5 books, but these are certainly my top favorites both in text and art. Happy reading!


I wrote...

Little Dog Lost: The True Story of a Brave Dog Named Baltic

By Mônica Carnesi,

Book cover of Little Dog Lost: The True Story of a Brave Dog Named Baltic

What is my book about?

On a cold winter day, a curious dog wandered onto a frozen river, and before he knew it he was traveling fast on a sheet of ice. Many people tried to help, but the dog could not be reached. Finally, after two nights and seventy-five miles, the little dog was saved by a ship out in the Baltic Sea.

The gallant rescue of the little dog nicknamed Baltic made international news. Mônica Carnesi's simple text and charming watercolor illustrations convey all the drama of Baltic's journey. His story, with its happy ending, will warm readers' hearts. An author's note and map are included.

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