Those Darn Squirrels and the Cat Next Door
Those Darn Squirrels and the Cat Next Door
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Annotation: Grumpy Old Man Fookwire's new neighbor has a cat that threatens his beloved birds, but the pesky squirrels figure out a way to solve the problem.
Catalog Number: #5262011
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition Date: 2011
Illustrator: Salmieri, Daniel,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-547-42922-3
ISBN 13: 978-0-547-42922-9
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2010004181
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Following the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill, eleven-year-old aspiring ornithologist and "bird artist" Bouler created paintings in exchange for donations to the clean-up effort. Here she shares her love of birding, her own conservation efforts, and ways for others to take action. Though content is a little sparse, the book's message and design--including impressive original sketches--will successfully reach young environmentalists. Websites.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4&12; In this funny follow-up to Those Darn Squirrels (Clarion, 2008), Grumpy Old Man Fookwire is not only beleaguered by crafty squirrels, but he also has to contend with new neighbors. Little Old Lady Hu's cat, Muffins, is "a real jerk" who terrifies Fookwire's beloved birds and gives the squirrels "wedgies." While Fookwire writes a letter of complaint to the mayor, the squirrels hatch a plan. Muffins gets his comeuppance when he walks into a booby trap and is doused with a gallon of water. Underneath all his fluffy bluster, the cat is revealed to be "nothing but a skinnymalink." Salmieri's droll watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil illustrations capture the eccentric cast of characters, from the bald, beakish Fookwire painting pictures of birds "till he got blisters on his fingers" to the merry band of squirrels dropping in through Fookwire's mail slot to finish his crossword puzzles. A quirky read-aloud choice.&12; Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Squirrels, watch out; there's a new cat in town. These pesky rodents perpetually annoy ornery Old Man Fookwire, shooting through his mail slot and finishing his crossword puzzles. The cunning critters lose their mischievous edge when Little Old Lady Hu moves in next door, though. Her delectable desserts are no compensation for the vicious pet she brings into the neighborhood. She's adamant that her "cuddly honey bunny" Muffins wouldn't harm a fly, but this antagonistic feline is far from kind. His outrageous tactics win him numero uno status among the resident animals; he's even successful in administering wedgies to the mortified squirrels. Fed up with the harassment, the victimized critters form an alliance to thwart this backyard bully. The droll narrative shines in its details. Quirky expressions depict outrage and delight ("Great googley-moogley!"); trenchant language captures personality (Muffins "was a real jerk"). Salmieri's illustrations provide the perfect counterpoint. The treacherous housecat's mannerisms resemble a feline Dr. Evil; his cunning smile and crossed legs exude a delightfully awful menace. Watercolor, gouache and colored pencil spreads provide a light background for each comic interaction. This sassy sequel to Those Darn Squirrels! (2008) lets readers feel the thrill of putting bullies in their place. Great googley-moogley, indeed. (Picture book. 5-8)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Horn Book (8/1/11)
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (5/1/11)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 958
Reading Level: 3.9
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.9 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 143813 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.3 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q53895
Lexile: AD810L
Guided Reading Level: U

All is calm in old man Fookwire's yard until new neighbors--Little Old Lady Hu and her cat, Muffins--move in next door. Muffins is one mean dude! He terrorizes the birds, interrupts Fookwire's painting, and ties the squirrels' tails together. Fookwire is upset, but not nearly as upset as the squirrels, who devise an ingenious plan to stop Muffins cold. In this hilarious follow-up to Those Darn Squirrels! , the tongue-in-cheek text is perfectly complemented by the quirky, inventive illustrations.

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