This new Beginner Book about manic skiing squirrels?by J. Hamilton Ray with illustrations by Pascal Lemaitre?has the feeling of an old classic read-aloud. "Nobody knew how the mania grew. First there was one, and then there were two. Three more came gliding from under the trees. LOOK! On the hill. Those are squirrels on skis! Below lay the town, snow-covered and still. Not a sound could be heard. All was silent, until . . . Swwwishhhh swooped the skiers, all dressed for play. Eighty-five squirrels and ...
This new Beginner Book about manic skiing squirrels—by J. Hamilton Ray with illustrations by Pascal Lemaitre—has the feeling of an old classic read-aloud. "Nobody knew how the mania grew. First there was one, and then there were two. Three more came gliding from under the trees. LOOK! On the hill. Those are squirrels on skis! Below lay the town, snow-covered and still. Not a sound could be heard. All was silent, until . . . Swwwishhhh swooped the skiers, all dressed for play. Eighty-five squirrels and more on the way!" As you can imagine, the townsfolk are NOT amused. Can intrepid reporter Sally Sue Breeze find out where the squirrels are getting their skis-and make them stop skiing long enough to eat lunch-before pest-control guy Stanley Powers sucks them up in his vacuum device? (Don't worry—Sally triumphs in a most unexpected way.) With delightfully understated, funny illustrations by Pascal Lemaitre, this is the perfect book for beginning readers to curl up and chill out with on a snow day—or any day!
Originally created by Dr. Seuss, Beginner Books encourage children to read all by themselves, with simple words and illustrations that give clues to their meaning.
This fast-paced tale of a squirrel-skiing frolic grows and grows with the turn of each suspense-filled page as one squirrel critter blooms into a plethora of critters that are deemed trouble by the citizens of the town. That's when the citizens hold a town meeting to come up with a plan to get rid of the squirrels. Only Sally, the town newspaper reporter, tries to unearth answers about where the squirrels are finding their skis and why there is a lack of food for the squirrels. She uncovers the truth of the real mystery and all ends well. Packed with hilarious illustrations and written in a rhyming manner similar to a Dr. Seuss tale, the book contains "blends of words and pictures" that prove to be ideal for emerging readers. The book makes an excellent supplement to remedial reading programs as well as a fun read for all young readers. Part of the "I Can Read It All by Myself" series. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Squirrels racing on skis invade a quiet snow-laden town, causing havoc among the townsfolk. Each tiny creature, wearing colorful earmuffs and matching knee pads, schusses down the nearby mountain slope and through the city center, jumping off rooftops, rushing down neighborhood streets, rampaging through the cemetery, and even catapulting off a steeple. Finally, the mayor calls the local pest-control guy to get rid of the wild rodents. Stanley recommends his vacuum device until Sally Sue Breeze, "the reporter who could not have been shorter," steps up to say that there's got to be a more humane solution. She discovers a rabbit squatting in the Old Acme Popsicle Stick Factory, illegally selling popsicle sticks and toothpicks to the squirrels in exchange for acorns. Then Sally Sue comes up with a plan to get the squirrels to leave. Formatted in the classic easy-reader style, the text consists of four-line stanzas, and the colorful cartoons are expressive and animated. A perfect read for young humor lovers; think the Oncelers (from The Sneeches) meet Marvin K. Mooney (both Random).—Janet Weber, Tigard Public Library, OR
An odd story about a plucky reporter, an entrepreneurial rabbit and, yes, skiing squirrels stumbles a bit but doesn't completely crash and burn. Engaging cover art from Lemaitre highlights the book's humorous, cartoonish flair as its strongest attribute. Pictures evoke movement and comic reactions to outlandish scenarios, positioning Lemaitre as an illustrator to watch. Ray's text, however, falters in its rhyme and rhythm and in its unwieldy plot revelation. Though a story about squirrels, it's impossible to put it in a nutshell, but here goes: Skiing squirrels descend on a town, upsetting the citizens and creating no small amount of chaos. Where are they coming from? Who's given them skis? What to do? The aforementioned plucky reporter, Sally Sue Breeze, sets out to investigate, hoping to save them from the sad fate suggested by the evil Mr. Powers, who would like to obliterate the squirrels with a vacuumlike contraption. She discovers that a rabbit has been selling the squirrels Popsicle-stick skis and toothpick ski poles in exchange for all of their acorns, and Sally convinces him to return some of the food to the starving squirrels. She also manages to set up a ski area at the erstwhile ski and ski pole factory, while convincing the squirrels to ski only there and not through the town. A strange story saved by silly art. (Early reader. 5-8)
J. HAMILTON RAY is a children's television writer and producer. He's won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing for Children, and among the many programs he has written for and produced is the hit PBS Kids television show Between the Lions. He has also produced animated videos of picture books, among them many by Dr. Seuss and P. D. Eastman. He and his wife—the novelist C. A. Belmond—divide their time between the woods of Redding, CT. (where the squirrel-watching is great), and France. Squirrels on Skis is his first book.