Those Darn Squirrels!

( 3 )

Overview

The story of what happens when a grumpy old man and some mischievous squirrels match wits—with hilarious results.

Old Man Fookwire is a grump who only likes to paint pictures of 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 ...

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Those Darn Squirrels!

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Overview

The story of what happens when a grumpy old man and some mischievous squirrels match wits—with hilarious results.

Old Man Fookwire is a grump who only likes to paint pictures of 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 charms the old grump.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
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

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Old Man Fookwire is a grump. The only things he likes are birds. Knowing he will be lonely when they fly south for the winter, he fills many birdfeeders in hopes that they will stay. Unfortunately for him, he has underestimated the cleverness of squirrels. No matter what he tries, the squirrels manage to get the food. The birds leave. The squirrels then feel sorry for the angry and lonely Fookwire. From the many objects they have collected, they make him a gift that cheers him at last, for a happy ending. Fookwire is an odd-looking fellow with a long neck, pointed nose and skinny arms and legs; the squirrels are equally comic. They all live in a relatively barren, surreal world, in which the wild constructions of man and animals stand out clearly. Salmieri's watercolor, gouache and colored-pencil illustrations are comically inventive, particularly when depicting the busy squirrels. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 4

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

Kirkus Reviews
Old Man Fookwire, a "grump" of the first order, hates everything, except for his birds. He paints their pictures and hopes his birdfeeder-bribe will convince them to avoid migration. Unfortunately, hoarding squirrels-the "fuzzy little geniuses" of the forest-devour the birds' allotment, even snatching the treats dangling high above a clothesline. Fookwire shakes his fist and shouts, "those darn squirrels!" An innovative laser obstacle course, however, stumps the scurrying rodents, but with their final bite, the birds migrate anyway, leaving Fookwire forlorn-and the squirrels repentantly determined to make it up to him, as only fuzzy little geniuses can. Rubin's pithy text adds comedic flair, though it is Salmieri's watercolor, gouache and colored pencil illustrations that hilariously carry the backyard shenanigans. Bald Fookwire is a riot as the agitation builds, with his beakish nose, elongated neck and wiry limbs, and the squirrels, with their bloated bellies and contented smiles, are a flying hoot in this droll debut. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547576817
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/6/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 76,002
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

 Adam Rubin lives in Chicago, Illinois. Since the publication of Those Darn Squirrels!, he has become a major celebrity in the squirrel community.

Daniel Salmieri graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and lives in Brooklyn. He swears no squirrels were harmed in the making of this book. Visit him at www.danielsalmieri.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2013

    Such a funny book!

    We love this book and its silliness; our son thinks the "furry little geniuses" are brilliant. A very entertaining story and amusing artwork.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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