Friday, December 09, 2016

Squirrely Santas! Merry Christmas, Squirrels by Nancy Rose

Christmas was coming, and it is Mr. Peanuts's favorite holiday.

Full of Christmas spirit, Mr. Peanut thinks a visit is a great idea. He gathers all his favorite Christmas sweaters... one for every day of his trip!

First things first, though. Mr. Peanut takes the time to clear his drive with his own tiny snowblower. Chores done, he decides that Christmas cheer is better shared. Donning his little Santa Claus cap and his homemade twiggy snowshoes, Mr. Peanut heads off across the snowy landscape to spend the holidays with his closest kin.

Over the river and through the woods he goes, to the snug house of his Cousin Squirrel, where he is received cheerily, with a warm welcome.

"This Christmas will be so much fun now that I have a friend to spend it with," says Cousin Squirrel. "Come inside!"

Cousin Squirrel serves up a warming cup of (what else?) hazelnut latte, and then the two head outside for fun in the snow. They zoom down the hills of snow on Cousin Squirrel's sled, make a squirrel snowman, and build their own igloo,

"Now we have a another hiding spot for our acorns,"says Cousin Squirrel. (They are after all, squirrels!)

Finally the two cousins settle down around their very own campfire, and Mr. Peanut reads his preferred Christmas tale, (What else?) The Nutcracker.

And back home at Cousin Squirrel's cozy house, they wake up on Christmas morning and exchange seasons' greetings under Cousin Squirrel's decorated tree and special gifts for each other. Mr. Peanut presents his host with his gift, a fancy box of peanuts, and Cousin Squirrel brings out his own offering--peanuts, too!

"This is just what I wanted!" they both agree.

But in Nancy Rose's latest seasonal squirrel saga, Merry Christmas, Squirrels! (Little, Brown and Company, 2016), fans of her The Secret Life of Squirrels will delight in this chance to see the squirrels celebrate Christmas. Nancy Rose's books are illustrated with color photos, featuring clever homemade props--squirrel-sized bentwood chairs and snowshoes, tiny knitted sweaters and leather suitcase, and brick fireplace and dainty dollhouse dishes; but her squirrels are real wild ones, tricked by the nuts hidden in her story props to pose right on her own back deck. Kids and grownups alike will be fascinated with her charming little squirrel-sized tableaux and real squirrel characters. Rose's squirrel stories are a real tour de force, and this one is a jolly good Christmas tale. School Library Journal says, "... detailed photos of a frisky-tailed, big-eyed squirrel nosing curiously about adorably small objects will captivate kids."

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