Those Darn Squirrels!by Adam Rubin, Daniel Salmieri
Old Man Fookwire is a grump. The only thing he likes to do is paint pictures of the birds that visit his backyard. The problem is, they fly south every winter, leaving him sad and lonely. So he decides to get them to stay by putting up beautiful birdfeeders filled with seeds and berries. Unfortunately, the squirrels like the treats, too, and make a daring raid on
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Old Man Fookwire is a grump. The only thing he likes to do is paint pictures of the birds that visit his backyard. The problem is, they fly south every winter, leaving him sad and lonely. So he decides to get them to stay by putting up beautiful birdfeeders filled with seeds and berries. Unfortunately, the squirrels like the treats, too, and make a daring raid on the feeders. The conflict escalates—until the birds depart (as usual), and the squirrels come up with a plan that completely charms the old grump.
This simple tale has a sneaky, edgy humor that erupts into hilarity as well as a warm, stabilizing feeling for humanity in all of its quirky manifestations. "Old Man Fookwire was so old that when he sneezed, dust came out. He was also a grump. He hated pie. He hated puppies. The only thing he liked was birds." This verbal introduction to the main character is enhanced with paintings-reminiscent of some of the best European children's book illustrations-of an exaggeratedly skinny, flannel-shirted caricature with a long neck, long nose, oversized glasses, and protruding Adam's apple. He never smiles, even when he's painting pictures of the birds that visit his yard every summer. In an attempt to keep the birds around when autumn arrives, he builds wonderful birdfeeders. They do indeed attract the birds-but they also catch the eye of the squirrels. The cheerful, brilliant, and adorable creatures are shown using pulleys, weights, and remarkable cooperative planning to foil Fookwire and raid the feeders. The old man fights back. But the squirrels, still smiling and hopeful, stay up all night for a planning meeting and devise a daring escapade that relies heavily on their deep understanding of physics and their willingness to be launched through the air. What happens to the squirrels, the birds, and to Old Man Fookwire is a symphony of regret, respect, and sweetness. Readers will want to linger over this book and treasure every page.-Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
Winner of a Borders Original Voices Award
A 2009 Children's Choice Award nominee
“Bald Fookwire is a riot. . . and the squirrels, with their bloated bellies and contented smiles, are a flying hoot in this droll debut.”—Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
“A symphony of regret, respect, and sweetness. Readers will want to linger over this book and treasure every page.”—School Library Journal
Meet the Author
Adam Rubin is a creative director for a digital advertising agency in New York City and the author of six critically acclaimed picture books, including three Those Darn Squirrels titles. All of them have been illustrated by Daniel Salmieri. To learn more, visit www.adamrubinhasawebsite.com.
Daniel Salmieri is an artist and illustrator living in Brooklyn, NY. He has illustrated eight books for children, including six critically acclaimed picture books in collaboration with author Adam Rubin. To learn more, visit www.danielsalmieri.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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For my son who is 13months this book is beyond his level and he won't sit still for it, but I really have no doubt that when he's a bit older, he will love it. I just crack up every time I read it! It's very funny and I find the characters easy to relate to. I think old man Fookwire is similar to many older men which makes it fun to read and see how he and the squirrels interact.
We love this book and its silliness; our son thinks the "furry little geniuses" are brilliant. A very entertaining story and amusing artwork.