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.