Our BLG reader Maria brought in a very funny book this week! Those Darn Squirrels Fly South written by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri had the perfect mix of silly, absurd and clever to keep us entertained through every page! A few years ago we enjoyed another Those Darn Squirrels story: Those Darn Squirrels and the Cat Next Door.
I love a book that is funny beyond the “shy smile as you listen funny” and moves right into the “laugh out loud, giggle and snicker” category of funny. This book registered high on the silly meter! We laughed a lot!
In this third book about Mr. Fookwire, his beloved birds and the pesky squirrels who irritate him, we witness a change of seasons. The birds begin to fly south and Fookwire will soon be without the colourful feathered creatures that are his inspiration. He will be left alone with “those darn squirrels.” Or will he? It turns out that the squirrels have been putting their advanced knowledge of aerodynamic engineering (who knew?) to use and have fashioned numerous flying devices to help them too “fly” south!
“Great googley-moogley!” exclaims Fookwire when he sees a flock of squirrels in the air! (Yes, he really does say this! And yes they really do fly!)
When the squirrels land in Santa Vaca they place a collect call to Old Man Fookwire. Their loud chattering inspires him to drive (at 12 m.p.h. in his rarely used convertible) down to meet them. Down south is heavenly – he can paint to his heart’s content. Too bad he forgets about sunscreen, shade and frequent hydration. When Fookwire decides to head back north, the squirrels choose to join him, taking over his car and eventually the wheel! Those Darn Squirrels!
A lot to love in this story. Fookwire’s expressions. The crazy names of the birds. The antics of the squirrels. The Fookwire/squirrels hug. And of course Fookwire’s nose. Handsome devil that Fookwire!
Student reviewers respond:
Grace: My favourite part is when Fookwire had a car that goes 12 m.p.h. Why do the squirrels eat flowers? Why is Fookwire so mean? I liked when he got a sunburn!
Shereese: I liked when the squirrels were eating the mango.
Ethan: I liked when the old man drived 12 m.p.h. When the squirrels drived, it was funny!
Giovanni: I liked the squirrels lying on the beach. Why were the squirrels jumping on the man?
Andrew: My favourite part was when Fookwire drives 12 m.p.h. Fookwire missed the squirrels. I thought the book was funny. Does Fookwire’s sunburn stop?
Vicky: My favourite part was when the squirrels drive the car. Why does the man have a weird name?
Ava: I liked when the squirrels drived the car. He got a sunburn from the sun. The book was nice.
Brian: When he and the squirrels became friends was my favourite part. He said Those Darn Squirrels all the time. How can a squirrel drive 12 miles per hour back home?
The New York Times has a wonderful review of this book. Read here.