For ages 4 to 8
Kids Can Press, 2013, 978-1-894786-86-7
Some people love camping. They enjoy the simple life in the great outdoors, savoring such uncomplicated pleasures as sitting around a campfire at night, sleeping in a tent, and going for long invigorating hikes. Scaredy Squirrel is not such a person. He prefers the comfort of home to the discomfort of camp life, and he knows that camping is fraught with such dangers as skunks, mosquitoes, quicksand, and zippers.
Scaredy decides that the way to enjoy camping is to do so vicariously, by watching “The Joy of Camping” on the television. There is a problem though. Scaredy does not have an electrical outlet in his tree home. He is going to have to use a long extension cord and go to a nearby campsite to plug in the cord. Being the cautious (some might even say neurotic) fellow that he is, Scaredy dons his Wilderness Outfit. Scaredy does a little pre-expedition training and then, armed with pliers, tomato juice, a bag of cement and other supplies, Scaredy sets off. One thing he isn’t prepared for is a surprise, which is exactly what he finds.
Scaredy Squirrel is, without a doubt, one of the funniest picture book characters out there. What makes him so endearing is the fact that he is not perfect. He is afraid of just about everything and is committed to living life as safely as possible. He hates change in all its forms. The amusing thing is Scaredy is forced to deal with change, and it is delightful to see how he copes. Though he is decidedly overanxious, he is not, thankfully, unable to see the many gifts that life has to offer, and he manages to find ways to enjoy those gifts in his own very distinctive way.