Staff Review: Nuts to You


Nuts to You

Lynne Rae Perkins

Greenwillow Books


Available August 2014

Play is the organic form of childhood learning, and Perkins uses the apparently playful nature of squirrels to create child characters who love adventure, sometimes take undue risks, help one another, get carried away with their games, and try hard to do the right thing. When a hawk nabs Jed and then accidentally drops him into the tree canopy near the “frozen spiderweb” half a mile distant, TsTs happens to see the escape and note that it appears to be “three, maybe four realms” away. She alerts a skeptical Chai and they set out along the “buzzpaths” in search of Jed. Through luck and squirrel sense, they do eventually reconnect with Jed, but in the meantime a new problem emerges: people with chainsaws are clearing trees and brush from beneath the power lines, drawing closer and closer to the squirrels’ home territory. The adventurers set out to warn their home community, and try to move the entire group to a safer neighborhood. Excitement escalates as they rush to stay ahead of the threat, and at the same time devise a plan to persuade their friends and families to accept the change before it’s too late. Perkins does an especially skillful job of creating distinctive characters, both major and minor, admirable and otherwise, whose roles play out in believable fashion. Illustrations and amusing footnotes throughout the book top up the entertainment.


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