Monday, January 23, 2017

Heart-y! The Secret Life of Squirrels: A Love Story by Nancy Rose

Most squirrels spend their days scrambling up trees and searching for nuts.

Not Mr. Peanuts!

Hunting for nuts can make for a solitary life for squirrels. One is the loneliest number, and a glimpse of Mr. Peanut's clothesline, hung with big red hearts, suggests that Mr. Peanuts is lookin' for love!

Shopping for food would be more fun if he were cooking dinner for a friend.

Mr. Peanuts pushes his grocery cart in lonely isolation through the supermarket. He drops his penny and makes a wish at the local wishing well. He pulls out his tennis racket and heads to the park, but there's no one to make a match with Mr. Peanuts there either.

Whenever Mr. Peanuts is lonely, he goes to the bookstore.

And there, in a movie-perfect "cute meet" he encounters another squirrel reading his favorite book. She introduces herself as Rosie, and the two hit it off immediately.

He's absolutely nuts about Rosie.

There's a cozy and romantic candlelight Valentine dinner for two in Mr. Peanuts' future, in Nancy Rose's latest squirrel saga, The Secret Life of Squirrels: A Love Story (Little, Brown and Company, 2016). Author Rose not only writes the narrative, but handcrafts everything seen her cozy vignettes, from bent-twig furniture to a bunch of tiny books, all about squirrels, at the bookstore. Stage manager Rose is also her set designer, setting the stage with hidden treats to lure squirrels onto the set, and photographer Rose shoots many shots to get just the right poses out of the unsuspecting and wild bushy-tailed "actors" in her own backyard. Kids will warm to her theme of friendship in each book, but they also love to pore over and over the illustrations, noticing the delightful diminutive details of Nancy Rose's creations.

Other squirrel tales by Nancy Rose are The Secret Life of Squirrels and Merry Christmas, Squirrels! (see my reviews here).

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