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Posted September 15, 2005
AS FRESH AND APPEALING AS EVER
Countless fans who enjoyed the classic Corduroy books by Caldecott Honoree Don Freeman know that youngsters will be equally attracted to Earl the Squirrel. Freeman's illustrations are as fresh and appealing as ever in this story of the little squirrel whose mother said, 'Earl, It is high time you went out and learned to find acorns on your own.' Earl agreed with his mother and he wanted to make her proud of him, but he didn't have the faintest idea where he was going to find any acorns. He immediately ran over to see Jill. She's a good friend who gifted him with a large acorn and a nutcracker. When Earl returned to his tree home proudly bearing the acorn and nutcracker his mother was not at all impressed. She guessed that Jill had given these things to him, and told him how ridiculous it was for a squirrel to have a nutcracker. She ordered him to take that nutcracker right back. Always generous, Jill had another gift for him - a bright red scarf to keep his ears warm. He zoomed home as fast as he could to show his mother his new scarf. Again, she was sorely disappointed to think that any furry self-respecting squirrel would need a scarf to keep him warm. Poor Earl, it seems that he can't do anything to please his mother - least of all find acorns. He spent the entire cold night searching for acorns. Finally, exhausted he sought refuge in a hollow tree only to be chased off by an angry owl. However, the owl did tell him the location of a huge acorn tree. Earl sped off and was so excited to find the tree full of acorns that he didn't notice the enormous bull snoozing beneath it. Well, you know what happens when bulls see red! All's well that ends well in this cheery story of a little squirrel who must learn how to get along in the world. - Gail Cooke
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