James Burks’ wild and wacky sense of humor gets full play in this heartwarming story of friendship, fear, and nasty cats.
The story begins on a beautiful day, when the flight-loving, ever optimistic Bird meets neurotic Squirrel. Right away, we can tell they’re opposite characters. Bird has decided not to migrate because he’s having too much fun. Squirrel doesn’t have time for fun; he has to collect nuts for the winter, hide from dangerous animals, and he does NOT have time for fun. When a third character shows up — the ever hungry Cat — Bird and Squirrel are forced to run for their lives. As they walk (and run, swim, fall, limp, and tunnel) south, Bird and Squirrel make some surprising discoveries about each other. Cat, on the other hand, just wants a good meal.
Burks’ brilliantly colored art shows off his square, goggle-eyed characters to perfection. The text is a nice, large font and the panels are clear and easy to follow. Bird’s tiny stick legs add hilarious detail to his wild enthusiasm, while Squirrel’s acorn safety helmet is the perfect accessory for his panicky personality. There are quite a few “neurotic friend vs. optimistic friend” books out there, including Melanie Watt’s Scaredy Squirrel and many easy reader series, but Burks has a wholly unique, hilarious take on two misfit friends.
Both children and adults will enjoy the twists and turns of the classic chase story, along with puns, kooky prophetic moles, a truly terrifying Cat with bad breath, and more. The story moves at a cinematic pace with laughs and thrills around every corner. The only thing lacking is a tune for the Bird and Squirrel theme song! Hand this one to fans of Scaredy Squirrel, funny stories, and anyone who likes misfit friends and constant giggles.
Bird & Squirrel: On the run
by James Burks
Scholastic Graphix, 2012