Ricky and the Squirrel

Ricky and the Squirrel

by Guido Van Genechten, Guido van Genechten
     
 

Ricky is saddened and confused when he discovers a cold, unmoving squirrel in the forest. When Ricky brings the squirrel to his mother to see if she can fix it, she explains to him that the squirrel is dead and that he no longer feels any pain. After his parents help him bury the squirrel, Ricky is delighted to see another squirrel playing in a nearby tree. With

Overview


Ricky is saddened and confused when he discovers a cold, unmoving squirrel in the forest. When Ricky brings the squirrel to his mother to see if she can fix it, she explains to him that the squirrel is dead and that he no longer feels any pain. After his parents help him bury the squirrel, Ricky is delighted to see another squirrel playing in a nearby tree. With warm and poignant illustrations, this sympathetic and tender tale communicates clear and reasonable answers to firsttime questions about a difficult subject matter.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A quiet story about immigration that focuses on small but common emotions." -- Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal
PreS-K—As a young rabbit takes a leisurely stroll through the woods one autumn afternoon, he uncovers more than just chestnuts. He discovers a "sleeping" squirrel in the leaves, but is taken aback when finds that the creature's body is cold. Ricky's friend, Annie, immediately knows something is wrong. The two friends carry the squirrel to Ricky's house where his mother points out his gray whiskers and explains that the animal is dead. Ricky and his family bury the squirrel in a beautiful box and mark his grave. On their way home, they see a young squirrel playing in the trees, bringing closure to the story and completing the circle of life. Van Genechten does not toy with euphemisms for death, and his explanation of what has happened to the squirrel is straightforward. He does not delve into specific religious matters, but instead focuses on remembering the deceased fondly and knowing he is in a place where there is no longer pain. Painterly illustrations in bold colors and wide strokes along with a cast of animal characters keep the story from feeling too lifelike. This book and its message are not as intense or personal as Judith Viorst's The Tenth Good Thing About Barney (Atheneum, 1987), Robie Harris's Goodbye Mousie (S & S, 2004), or Corine Demas's Saying Goodbye to Lulu (Little, Brown, 2004), but it will serve young listeners well.—Lindsay Persohn, Crystal Lake Elementary, Lakeland, FL
Kirkus Reviews

This Dutch import introduces the ideas of death and the afterlife in a simple, low-key way. A very young-looking bunny in overalls and with one flop ear in van Genechten's outdoorsy, thickly brushed and comfortably outlined scenes, Ricky comes upon a squirrel on the ground one day and, after consultation with his friend Annie, carries it home to show his mother. She tells him right out that the squirrel is dead, then seeing his incomprehension explains that it happens to very old squirrels, but they go on to Squirrel Paradise—"the same place where they were before they were born." With help from his dad, Ricky buries the squirrel with ceremony out in the forest, and then, for a mood-lifting finale, he spots a living squirrel on the way home. Other titles on the topic are not lacking, but this nicely matter-of-fact one offers an open discussion without forcing an obvious therapeutic agenda on its audience. (Picture book. 4-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781605370781
Publisher:
Clavis
Publication date:
08/13/2010
Series:
Ricky Series
Pages:
30
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 11.50(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 5 Years

Meet the Author


Guido van Genechten is an illustrator and the author of several bestselling children's books, including "Alex and the Tart," "Flop Ear and His Friends," "Ricky," ""and "Snowy's Special Secret." He is the winner of the "Reader's Digest" Award for Best Children's Books Illustrator and the Picture Book of the Year in Holland.

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