Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 4 to 8
- Grade: p to 3
According to Scaredy Squirrel, “Christmas is indeed the most wonderful time of the year, but it is also the scariest.” Luckily, Scaredy is prepared --- and you can be, too! He's put together this “Safety Guide for Scaredies,” full of advice for dealing with all the potential dangers, hazards and obstacles one might face during the Christmas season, complete with elaborate charts, numbered lists and the necessary diagrams. Included are step-by-step instructions for building a gingerbread house (Step 2: “Get a building permit”), a shopping guide for tricky personality types (“mystical” and “hairy” types included) and a variety of safety tips throughout, such as, “When making a guest list, try to avoid inviting individuals like piranhas or double dippers.” Last but not least, at the end of the book is Scaredy's all-encompassing surefire solution: “If all else fails ... play dead!”
Author and illustrator Mélanie Watt's endearing Scaredy Squirrel character is hugely popular with readers of all ages. Here she's laid out a picture book with separate chapters dedicated to different parts of the Christmas holidays: decorations, sweets, gifts and the like. With so much going on across each boldly colored spread, youngsters will spend loads of time poring over and laughing at all the details. Besides the fun appeal, this book would make a great introduction to a classroom discussion about how children celebrate the holidays in their own families. It also offers an opportunity for a character education lesson on courage, or a classroom conversation on feelings, particularly fear.
About the author
La jeune auteure-illustratrice Mélanie Watt, née à Trois-Rivières, a remporté pour son travail de prestigieuses récompenses, dont le Prix Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz, le Prix Blue Spruce et le Prix Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon, tous les trois pour Frisson l'écureuil.
It was in a design class taught by Michèle Lemieux at the University of Quebec in Montreal that author and illustrator Mélanie Watt created her first picture book, Leon the Chameleon, which was later published by Kids Can Press. Watt went on to create several more books, including the Learning with Animals collection and Augustine, which was named an ALA Notable Children's Book. Watt has also illustrated Where Does a Tiger-Heron Spend the Night? and Bearcub and Mama, which won the 2006 IRA Teachers” Choices Project.
Mélanie's best known book, Scaredy Squirrel, has won many awards, including the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children”s Book Award for Children”s Picture Book and the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator”s Award. The release of Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend was met with enthusiastic reviews and incredible sales, confirming the arrival of kid lit's newest superstar. Chester, Chester's Back! and Chester's Masterpiece are about a megalomaniac cat who is every bit the antithesis to Scaredy. Chester has already become a bestseller, and shows the breadth and creativity of Mélanie Watt.
Scaredy returns to take a few more tentative steps out of his comfort zone in Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach and Scaredy Squirrel at Night. Mélanie has often noted how the Scaredy Squirrel books helped her work out her own insecurities and fears, as the success of these titles has required her to venture out into the unknown, and like Scaredy she has found the experience truly uplifting.
Mélanie currently resides near Montreal, Quebec.
- Winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Starred Selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre