Here’s my selection for Perfect Picture Book Friday:
Mr. Squirrel and the Moon
Author and Illustrator Sebastian Meschenmoser
North-South Books, Inc.
First published in Germany under the title Herr Eichborn und der Mond (2006)
Suitable for: ages 2-5
Theme/Topic: Misunderstanding, Worry
Opening Spread: The book opens with two wordless spreads. The third spread: “One morning Mr. Squirrel woke up because the moon had fallen onto his tree.”
Brief Synopsis: from Barnes And Noble: When Mr. Squirrel awakens to find that the moon has landed on his tree, he frantically tries to get rid of it before someone suspects him of stealing it and puts him in jail. But when he rolls the moon off of his tree, it’s gets stuck on Mrs. Hedgehog’s bristles and when the billy-goat arrives and butts it with his horns . . . Will the moon ever be the same again? Sebastian Meschenmoser’s hilarious illustrations and rollicking tale will be a bedtime favorite.
Resources: I really had hoped North-South Books had a resource for this, but I didn’t see one. I found this article on PBS about Talking with Kids About News. There are a number of books about worry to read and consider the journey the child character takes and the resolution. Owl Babies by Martin Waddell. Found by Salina Yoon also involves a bit of worry and misunderstanding.
Why I like this book: While I understand this selection is not perfect for everyone, I really enjoyed this book. Enzo enjoyed it the first time, and my laughter at asking him “do you know what it means to be in jail?” may have influenced him.
Poor Mr. Squirrel frets over the “moon” at his house … “If someone came looking for it now and found it … here, with him … they would think he was the thief. He’d be arrested and thrown into prison ….” The page turn reveals a spread of the inmate crafting and the poor squirrel in a prison uniform.
The reviews are good for this book. It was a Top Ten Indie Next Pick book in January.
Here’s one quote from the Barnes and Noble listing:
“As this book proves, squirrels, jail sequences, and edible heavenly bodies make for picture book gold. Delicious…if I had my way every Caldecott would go to Sebastian Meschmenmoser, regardless of citizenship or whether or not he has a book out in a given year.”-Fuse #8 Production/School Library Journal, Elizabeth Bird
Yes. Squirrels, jail sequences, and cheese are a magical mixture.
I know. I know. In many ways you think, “But, Stacy this doesn’t sound like a children’s book.”
But, it is.
The animal antics are enough to make any reader laugh. And, as Enzo said to me later. “Silly squirrel. It was just cheese.”
If you can find it, read it. I’ve recommended this book to several people and found myself babbling to picture book friends, a picture book editor, and a librarian about the “cumulative toilet scene.” I know. It sounds crazy, but like any great picture book it’s perfect when it all mixes together.
For more PPBF books, visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s Blog.
The Halloweensie contest was a lot of fun. Gilda’s Zombie Fix received an honorable mention for Great Kid Appeal. I knew tooting was a good direction.
The contest is always a lot of fun. Read all about the winners here. Enjoy the week.
Vivian Kirkfield says
I will definitely look for this, Stacy…I do need to read more of those funny, off the wall, slightly edgy, definitely zany picture books…maybe that will help release my inner zany so I can write them.;)
Yes. Get your zany on Vivian.
Cathy Ballou Mealey says
I picked this one up last year I think – it has such European flavor. Hoping JRZ weighs in with her opinion on this. I worked with someone who collected German postcard illustration – and many had the same art “feel” as this. Happy PPBF!
Julie Rowan-Zoch says
And I was just thinking, I need to add my two cents! Ha! It is a bit off-center, yeah, well, by a lot! I believe though that this sort of book is one to read because it won’t let you stop thinking about it. I mean, even Stacy has been considering it’s place in the PPBF list for some time! So anyone who hasn’t, go read it, then take it to your next Kaffeeklatsch to discuss! And use a German accent while discussing it, of course!
Julie Rowan-Zoch says
And use an excess of exclamation marks too!
It’s funny, because when I worked on this post. I realized I own an earlier book of his. lol. I’ve been attracted to the European sense of humor lately. My aunt sent us a book from Slovenia recently. It’s very cute, but we can’t read the story.
Clara Bowman-Jahn says
As a European immigrant I can say this: I don’t get the European sense of humor when in the guise of my Pappa but this book? I”m running to get it. 🙂
OMGoodness, this sounds to have all that European quirk I love. The Betsy Bird quote is great, too!
I know… that Betsy Bird quote was great.
Patricia Tilton says
This is a wonderful outside the box kind of story. Sounds like kids will really enjoy the humor! My kind of quirky!
Yes. Enzo enjoyed it.
Leslie Leibhardt Goodman says
I need more quirky picture books, and this one sounds like I’ll enjoy it completely. I hope my library has it or can order it. Thanks for sharing it.
Charlotte Dixon says
Thank you, Stacy, for your book review. This PB sounds delightful and I’ll have to check it out 🙂
Jilanne Hoffmann says
Oh, how I love squirrels! Sounds like a PPB to me! Can’t wait to take a look. Thanks, Stacy!
Wendy Greenley says
If it made Enzo laugh, it can go on my list! The zany elements sound right up my alley.
Hope you were able to find it.
Rosi Hollinbeck says
This sounds perfectly charming. I just ordered a copy from my library and can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the post.
Thanks for this, Stacy! I love how you discover these books and share them with us.
Penny Parker Klostermann says
This sounds very interesting. My library usually has everything but they don’t have this one so I’m getting it through interlibrary. Glad you brought it to my attention.