Friday, 30 September 2011


Twitter-style summary: Everyone's favourite socially awkward squirrel looks forward to celebrating his birhtday just the way he likes it: on his own. Fat chance!

Ah, Scaredy, my old friend. Are you worried by me popping by unexpectedly? You thinking I should squirt a blob of antibacterial handwash across my palms before we shake hands? Are you freaked out that I just hugged you and a-kissed both your cheeks in a London media-style hello?

Of course you are.

Old friend, how I love thee.

Scaredy Squirrel is our most popular character. A Canadian creation from artist and illustrator, Melanie Watt, we issue a new title every other year, first publishing in hardback (as with this one) and then, a year later, we bring out the paperback edition for those readers who are a little more gentle with the their books (not the Catnipper, then, who has already trashed her two-week old copy of Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell)

Scaredy first blazed into glory in 2006 when the eponymous first title was a Richard and Judy Book Party Choice back in their previous bookclub incarnation. Scaredy turns the popular perceptions of OCD and social paranoia on their heads by being both endearing and funny in his reluctance to leave his tree, make friends or face his fear of nightmares – or in the case of this latest addition to the collection, his dislike of karaoke and unexpected presents (sound familiar?). There are many children out there who can identify with his cautious nature, who enjoy staying at home and doing their own thing rather than put themselves out there – but like every good picture book, Scaredy develops. Somehow, something goes wrong and inevitably, he ends up in exactly the kind of situation he was hoping to avoid… and do you know what? It’s not as bad as he thought.

Funny and familiar, the Scaredy Squirrel books are modern-day parables for anyone who sometimes finds themselves making excuses to stay at home instead of go out and make new friends. And yes, I might be talking about me...

If you fancy making Scaredy's day, you're always welcome to pop to his fanpage on facebook where you can become a bona fide squirrel lover, check out book trailers and competitions and the like.

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