Monday, December 17, 2012

Those Darn Squirrels! series by Adam Rubin

I do so LOVE a good grumpy guy in a book, and there's nobody crabbier than Old Man Fookwire! All Fookwire wants to do is paint birds, but something's always preventing that - namely migration.

In "Those Darn Squirrels" OMF is trying to keep the squirrels out of his bird feeders. In the end, they make a sort of truce. In "Those Darn Squirrels and the Cat Next Door" the gang gets a new neighbor who throws off OMF's whole routine. And her cat - whew, what a terror! In the latest installment, everybody decides to follow the birds to find out what's so great about migration, in "Those Darn Squirrels Fly South."

These are books that are meant to be read aloud. There's a wonderful lyric quality to the writing, and the word choice is stupendous. (I walked around a whole day repeating OMF's signature exclamation: Great googley-moogley!)

The art, by Daniel Salmieri, is understated and just the right amount of weird: OMF is long and skinny, stretched and ugly in his angry. The squirrels are cute, and simply rendered. And the birds are exotic and strange, nothing like the ones that appears in my yard.

These are some of my new favorite picture books. They're funny, and subtle; there's a lot to laugh at on the first read-through, but even more to be discovered upon repetition. Additionally, the books are very informative - I'm sure you never understood the secret genius of squirrels, as revealed here!

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