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Children's Fiction Squirrels

Scaredy Squirrel at Night

illustrated by Melanie Watt

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2012
Squirrels, Bedtime & Dreams, Humorous Stories
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2012
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2009
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2013
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 8
  • Grade: p to 3
  • Reading age: 4 to 8


Scaredy never sleeps --- sleep might mean bad dreams about dragons, ghosts, vampire bats and polka-dot monsters. Our wide-eyed hero has a plan: stay awake all night, every night. Between counting stars, playing cymbals and making scrapbooks, he does a good job of avoiding dreamland.

With exhaustion taking its toll, Scaredy comes face-to-face with an alarming horoscope prediction: All his dreams are about to come true!

He must prepare for the worst and his Bad Dream Action Plan includes a fire extinguisher to snuff out dragons and a fan to blast away ghosts. But when disaster strikes, will Scaredy survive this ordeal? Will he thank his lucky stars? Will he find sweet dreams?

Scaredy Squirrel at Night tackles a fear everyone --- and especially the young --- can relate to. It's a bedtime story to make light of kids' fear of the dark and a fable for our sleep-deprived society.

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.


Melanie Watt's profile page


  • Short-listed, Comics for Kids Award, Joe Shuster Awards
  • Winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Winner, Shining Willow Award, Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Award
  • Short-listed, Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award

Editorial Reviews

Scaredy, with his oversized head and wide set of pearly whites, continues to radiate personality.

Publishers Weekly

... kids will be amused by the lively, busy compositions packed with silly details ...


Children will be delighted as Scaredy Squirrel attempts to face his fear of falling asleep because of bad dreams, and they'll laugh at his absurd lists and action plans.

School Library Journal

... the sweet silliness with which Scaredy approaches his fear will make them laugh even as it eases them to nightmare-free slumber.

Kirkus Reviews

Watt varies the narrative by devoting entire pages to Scaredy's “to do” list ... the effect works --- and the book is more interactive for it. Older readers will also appreciate Watt's humorous attention to detail ...

Quill & Quire

Librarian Reviews

Scaredy Squirrel at Night

Scaredy Squirrel is afraid of having bad dreams so he keeps busy to stay awake all night. He hatches a plan to tackle his bad dreams, which he expects to come true at midnight. When hungry intruders appear instead, Scaredy Squirrel is caught off guard and panics. In the process of playing dead, he falls asleep for eight hours.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2010.

Other titles by Melanie Watt