Girl Versus Squirrel by Hayley Barrett, illustrated by Renée Andriani

Published by Margaret Ferguson Books (Released August 11, 2020)

Girl Versus Squirrel: Barrett, Hayley, Andriani, Renée ...

Summary:  Pearl is proud of her three bird feeders: one looks like a house, one looks like a tube, and one looks like a teacup, because it actually is a teacup.  She fills the house one with suet, the tube one with seeds, and the teacup with peanuts.  Birds are soon flocking to the first two, but the peanuts attract a squirrel.  Annoyed, Pearl builds increasingly complicated obstacle courses to try to deter the squirrel, but to no avail.  Finally, Pearl sees the squirrel in a nest with kits, and realizes it’s a mother.  At that point, she gives up and admits that the squirrel is amazingly clever, and will teach her babies how to do all the things she does.  Pearl gets to work creating and filling more bird feeders for her backyard…and some squirrel feeders as well.  Includes a page of facts about squirrels.  32 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  Many will relate to the problem of squirrels attacking the bird feeders, and Pearl is a persistent and ingenious girl who uses her engineering skills to try to solve this problem.  She’s also a good sport, knowing when she’s been bested and celebrating her opponent.  Kids will enjoy reading about her efforts and maybe be inspired to try some backyard projects themselves.

Cons:  From the squirrelly facts:  National Squirrel Appreciation Day is January 21, which seems like the completely wrong time of year.  Or maybe we appreciate squirrels more when they’re a bit less omnipresent.

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