Those Darn Squirrels!
Those Darn Squirrels!
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Annotation: When grumpy Old Man Fookwire builds feeders to try to keep birds--the only creatures he likes--from leaving for the winter, he finds himself in a battle with clever, crafty squirrels who want a share of the abundant food.
Catalog Number: #3983210
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition Date: 2008
Illustrator: Salmieri, Daniel,
Pages: 32 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-547-00703-5
ISBN 13: 978-0-547-00703-8
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2007040110
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Grouchy Old Man Fookwire, who dislikes everything but birds, wages a battle of wits with the crafty squirrels that raid his birdfeeders. After the birds fly south, the squirrels attempt to make amends. The angular illustrations, showing contraptions created by Fookwire and the squirrels, are a good match for the tongue-in-cheek narrative.
Kirkus Reviews
Old Man Fookwire, a "grump" of the first order, hates everything, except for his birds. He paints their pictures and hopes his birdfeeder-bribe will convince them to avoid migration. Unfortunately, hoarding squirrels—the "fuzzy little geniuses" of the forest—devour the birds' allotment, even snatching the treats dangling high above a clothesline. Fookwire shakes his fist and shouts, "those darn squirrels!" An innovative laser obstacle course, however, stumps the scurrying rodents, but with their final bite, the birds migrate anyway, leaving Fookwire forlorn—and the squirrels repentantly determined to make it up to him, as only fuzzy little geniuses can. Rubin's pithy text adds comedic flair, though it is Salmieri's watercolor, gouache and colored pencil illustrations that hilariously carry the backyard shenanigans. Bald Fookwire is a riot as the agitation builds, with his beakish nose, elongated neck and wiry limbs, and the squirrels, with their bloated bellies and contented smiles, are a flying hoot in this droll debut. (Picture book. 4-8)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4 This simple tale has a sneaky, edgy humor that erupts into hilarity as well as a warm, stabilizing feeling for humanity in all of its quirky manifestations. "Old Man Fookwire was so old that when he sneezed, dust came out. He was also a grump. He hated pie. He hated puppies. The only thing he liked was birds." This verbal introduction to the main character is enhanced with paintingsreminiscent of some of the best European children's book illustrationsof an exaggeratedly skinny, flannel-shirted caricature with a long neck, long nose, oversized glasses, and protruding Adam's apple. He never smiles, even when he's painting pictures of the birds that visit his yard every summer. In an attempt to keep the birds around when autumn arrives, he builds wonderful birdfeeders. They do indeed attract the birdsbut they also catch the eye of the squirrels. The cheerful, brilliant, and adorable creatures are shown using pulleys, weights, and remarkable cooperative planning to foil Fookwire and raid the feeders. The old man fights back. But the squirrels, still smiling and hopeful, stay up all night for a planning meeting and devise a daring escapade that relies heavily on their deep understanding of physics and their willingness to be launched through the air. What happens to the squirrels, the birds, and to Old Man Fookwire is a symphony of regret, respect, and sweetness. Readers will want to linger over this book and treasure every page. Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Horn Book (4/1/09)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (10/1/08)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 916
Reading Level: 3.7
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.7 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 124444 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.2 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q45390
Lexile: AD600L

Witty text combines with quirky illustrations in this funny take on the classic man versus squirrel conflict over backyard birdfeeders. Full color.

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