a great book to read in the fall--especially if you like squirrels

September 9, 2009

Earl the Squirrel by Don Freeman

We have a gorgeous oak tree in the park down the street from us. Juliet and I love going down there in the fall to gather fallen acorns to take home as "treasure" or to just toss into the creek. 

There are always a ton of squirrels trying to gather up the acorns too, and we have fun watching them scurry up and down the tree's massive trunk. 

I came across this book at the library a few months ago, and we have really enjoyed it. Don Freeman's illustrations are so appealing to kids (and adults too, I think--I can't get enough of them.) Juliet was mesmerized as I read this one to her and she repeatedly asked for it during the two weeks we had it in our home. 

The story is of Earl the squirrel who is told by his mother that he must learn how to find acorns on his own. So he hops on over to his friend (a human girl) Jill's who gives him an acorn--AND a nutcracker, much to his mother's dismay. 

Mother squirrel, of course, makes him take the nutcracker right back to Jill. At this point, Jill gives Earl a beautiful scarlet scarf to wear around his neck. As you can imagine, Mother squirrel is not pleased by this either. 

That night, Earl packs up and goes off in search for his own acorns. He searches and searches until he finds a nice big oak tree. Unfortunately, underneath the oak tree is a sleeping bull. 

Earl doesn't notice the bull, but instead climbs right over him in order to reach the acorns. The bull wakes up (more than a little disgruntled at having a squirrel on his head) and sees red (both literally and figuratively.)

Juliet loves this part and points to the bulls red eyes and says, "Ohhhhhhhhh! He's Maaaaaaaad!" 

Earl manages to escape the angry bull, get his acorns, and bring home his loot to Mother Squirrel who is very pleased with Earl now. 

It's the perfect book to read in September to get into the Autumn spirit. I found the story of how Earl got to be published on vintage kids books my kids love.

Another book by this author that we love: 

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