Scaredy Squirrel

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  • 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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How to Speak Wookiee

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  • written by Wu Kee Smith
  • illustrated by JAKe
  • published by Chronicle Books (2011)

What we have here is cute novelty. It’s part language guide to the Wookiee dialect and part guide to Wookiee culture. It also comes complete with an audio player set to play 10 distinct Wookiee grunts and howls (which is its primary selling point, as far as kids are concerned).

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Diary of a Worm

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  • written by Doreen Cronin
  • illustrated by Harry Bliss
  • published by Scholastic and HarperCollins (2003)

If you’re not familiar with this one already, it’s absolutely worth grabbing. It’s the first part of a “trilogy” (the other two are Diary of a Spider and Diary of a Fly).

The book is a series of diary entries written by the titular worm. Each entry is a page or spread and works as a standalone gag/joke. It’s hilarious, and the gags work on several levels — as good humor should.

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Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa

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Cowgirl Kate cover

  • Author: Erica Silverman
  • Illustrator: Betsy Lewin
  • Initial Release: 2005
  • Publisher: Harcourt

This is the first in what ultimately was a series of six books starring the lovable Cowgirl Kate and her proud, faithful steed, Cocoa. The whole series is an ode to friendship, and in that sense, the books are all really quite lovely. Through Kate and Cocoa’s adventures, kids can see that friendship can be a lot of fun…but also a lot of work.

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