Scaredy Squirrel

Browsing the Backlist

  • Scaredy Squirrel
  • written and illustrated by Mélanie Watt
  • published by Kids Can Press (2006)
  • Roar Score: 4/5

Scaredy Squirrel is now the star of a multibook series, but this is where he started. If you’re not already familiar with the character or the books, get thee to the library or bookstore (or Amazon) and pick these up, pronto!

In short, Scaredy Squirrel is afraid of everything. He never leaves his tree, and he imagines the world–the Unknown–to be full of dangers that are out to get him. Dangers such as sharks, green Martians, killer bees, and germs!

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Star Wars #6 (Marvel)

Issue #6 (December 1977): Is This The Final Chapter?

  • Writer/Editor: Roy Thomas
  • Artist/Storyteller: Howard Chaykin

In what’s starting to feel like a theme, we need to first address this cover. Last week, we were given a cover that was all about misdirection, and it must’ve worked (from a marketing perspective). I mean, of course it worked. Just look at the entire Silver Age. Anyway, take a look at this one. “See Luke Skywalker Battle Darth Vader!”

Well, I guess so, in a manner of speaking. I mean, Vader did chase down Luke’s X-Wing during the trench run, but they never actually “do battle.” I don’t think Luke even fires on Vader. And they certainly don’t have a lightsaber duel with a helpless Princess Leia cowering on the ground next to them. What a disservice to her character, especially since her tough, independent demeanor is actually represented in these comics.

Are you prepared for the “soul-shattering climax”? I know I am…

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Batman Rewatch: Nothing to Fear

  • Season 1, episode 3
  • Writers: Henry T. Gilroy & Sean Catherine Derek
  • Director: Boyd Kirkland

It took me a lot longer to post this episode than I had planned. Zoey simply wouldn’t watch it. She saw it once before, and the Scarecrow scared the bejeezus out of her. I just couldn’t convince her to watch it again. So this “rewatch” recap will be light on the Zoey commentary. I’ll let Bruce show you how that makes me feel.

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5 Questions with Pinky & The Brain

(previously in this series: 5 Questions with Alan Muraoka from Sesame Street)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. This time, Zoey had the opportunity to sit with Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche–the voices behind Pinky and The Brain–at this year’s Awesome Con in Washington, DC!

Of course, they’re also the voices of hundreds of other characters, and their filmographies read like an exhaustive list of animation from the 80s through today (including Transformers, GI Joe, Inspector Gadget, The Simpsons, Futurama, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ben 10, The Tick, and on and on and on…).

Zoey, however, knows them best from Animaniacs, Pinky & The Brain, and Rescue Bots (where Maurice LaMarche is the voice of Chief Burns).

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runDisney Kids’ Races

Since today is the day that registration opens up to the general public for the 2015 Walt Disney World marathon in January, I thought I’d take this opportunity to report on one of the best aspects of any runDisney event: the kids’ races.

Disney bills the 5k as a “family-friendly fun run,” but 3.1 miles is still a heckuva distance for the littlest ones among us. In response, they’ve set up the kids’ runs, which have a “race” for every member of the family–right down to babies crawling in the diaper dash.

We happened to be in Orlando and at Walt Disney World last October during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Timed to coincide with that event is the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. We couldn’t resist signing the kids up for a race and checking out what runDisney has to offer our youngest athletes.

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The Misadventures of Salem Hyde, Book 2

  • The Misadventures of Salem Hyde, Book 2: Big Birthday Bash
  • written and illustrated by Frank Cammuso
  • published by Amulet Books (Abrams)
  • Roar Score: 3/5

(For our review of Salem Hyde, Book One, click here.)

Salem and Whammy are back. This time, Salem has been invited to a birthday party and wants to give the best birthday present ever. Alas, Whammy is still there to make sure she doesn’t use her magic.

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Cleopatra in Space

  • Cleopatra in Space, Book 1: Target Practice
  • written and illustrated by Mike Maihack
  • published by Graphix (Scholastic)
  • Roar Score: 5/5

If the title doesn’t grab your attention, you might want to check your pulse. And if the cover doesn’t totally captivate you, then you might seriously be dead. Consult your physician.

This is a book that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. I was overjoyed when I heard that Scholastic had decided to publish it and give it a treatment that the story and art deserve. Cleopatra in Space is the creation of the awesomely amazing artist Mike Maihack — an artist we love so much in our house that I might border on hyperbole here. Apologies.

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Captain Action Cat

  • Captain Action Cat #1: The Timestream CATastrophe!
  • written and illustrated by Art Baltazar
  • written by Franco & Chris “Zod” Smits
  • published by Dynamite Comics
  • Roar Score: 4/5

I’ll admit it. We’ll buy pretty much anything by the Aw Yeah! guys. Super-Pets, Tiny Titans, Superman Family Adventures, even Battlestar Galactica(!). Art and Franco can do no wrong in my house.

So when we saw Captain Action Cat beckoning to us from the slew of new comics this week, we had to have it. And it doesn’t disappoint.

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Star Wars #5 (Marvel)

Issue #5 (November 1977): Lo, The Moons of Yavin!

  • Writer/Editor: Roy Thomas
  • Illustrators: Howard Chaykin & Steve Leialoha

Moving toward the conclusion of the movie. Before diving in, we’ve got another doozy of a cover. Talk about your misdirection! This is what I love about old comics like these. What you see on the cover was almost never what you found inside. I mean, c’mon, the Death Star is right there! It’s not in orbit; by all rights, it should be crashing into the planet at this point. But, oh no! Look out! It knocked over a wall with that laser beam!

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(previously in this series: Hubert’s Hair-Raising Adventure)

Continuing our journey through the career of Bill Peet, we pick up Ella (1964) this week. I had originally wanted to do the books in chronological order, but (1) I don’t own all of them, especially since a few are long out of print and very difficult/pricey to obtain; and (2) I can’t seem to find a definitive bibliography of his books in order of publication. If anyone has one, please send it my way. In the meantime, I’ll do the best I can.

Ella is the story of a circus elephant who is bit of a prima donna.

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