Earl the Squirrelby Don Freeman, J. J. Myers (Narrated by)
Earl the Squirrel’s mom wants him to learn how to find his own acorns. But Earl doesn’t even know where to begin. He is determined, though, to show his mother that he can find them. With the help of his red scarf—and a few animals along the way—Earl embarks on an all-night search. But will he ever be able to locate an acorn?
Earl, a young squirrel, learns about responsibility and resourcefulness in Don Freeman's delightful tale (Viking, 2005). Earl's mother wants him to learn how to hunt for acorns, rather than relying on his human friend, Jill. His mother believes he is being spoiled, especially after Jill gives him a scarlet scarf. Earl is determined to make his mother proud, and with the help of his multi-purpose scarf, he returns home with acorns. The whimsical music and excellent sound effects bring Earl and the other characters to life. J. J. Myers' narration is spot-on, providing a squeaky young voice for Earl and a scolding tone for his mother. One track contains page-turn signals. The red scarf is the only element of color in Freeman's black-and-white scratchboard illustrations. An excellent choice for story time and for the classroom.-Sarah Flood, Breckinridge County Public Library, Hardinsburg, KY
Children will love hearing this story of courage, determination, and self-actualization... (ChildrenÆs Literature)
- Live Oak Media
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What People are Saying About This
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
Meet the Author
Don Freeman was born in San Diego, California, in 1908. At an early age, he received a trumpet as a gift from his father. He practiced obsessively and eventually joined a California dance band. After graduating from high school, he ventured to New York City to study art under the tutelage of Joan Sloan and Harry Wickey at the Art Students' League. He managed to support himself throughout his schooling by playing his trumpet evenings, in nightclubs and at weddings.
Gradually, he eased into making a living sketching impressions of Broadway shows for The New York Times and The Herald Tribune. This shift was helped along, in no small part, by a rather heartbreaking incident: he lost his trumpet. One evening, he was so engrossed in sketching people on the subway, he simply forgot it was sitting on the seat beside him. This new career turned out to be a near-perfect fit for Don, though, as he had always loved the theater.
He was introduced to the world of children’s literature when William Saroyan asked him to illustrate several books. Soon after, he began to write and illustrate his own books, a career he settled into comfortably and happily. Through his writing, he was able to create his own theater: "I love the flow of turning the pages, the suspense of what's next. Ideas just come at me and after me. It's all so natural. I work all the time, long into the night, and it's such a pleasure. I don't know when the time ends. I've never been happier in my life!"
Don died in 1978, after a long and successful career. He created many beloved characters in his lifetime, perhaps the most beloved among them a stuffed, overall-wearing bear named Corduroy.
Don Freeman was the author and illustrator of many popular books for children, including Corduroy, A Pocket for Corduroy, and the Caldecott Honor Book Fly High, Fly Low.
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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