A Tale of Two Squirrels – Cathy Austin

“This was a lively little book. I am partial to squirrels since a half dozen or so live in our huge old maple and trees in our very leafy neighbourhood so this book struck a chord with me. Effie, our main character, greets many of her fellow neighbours as the day begins and she meets a new squirrel, Simon, who accidentally falls on her when his branch collapses. In the course of their day through the forest many dwellers tell of the storm that is coming. All must avoid Major, the scary big Owl and Buteo, the even scarier Hawk. Effie and Simon ride out the horrific storm, meet Major who tells her about a vacant nest she might like when hers is damaged by hail and off they go, just missing being dinner by Buteo! All ends well but not without dangers. Effie and Simon set up the new nest together and welcome a bunch of little squirrels, happily, in their new home. Quite a good story with snappy dialog like ‘chatter it up’ from the shrew, and other varied forest critters. Continuity, setting, climax, engaging main characters made this an entertaining read and informative one, too. Young readers will like the forest story filled with many different animals/characters. A sprinkling of illustrations are well drawn; I especially liked Major, the owl whose image is truly scary, if I was a squirrel! Age appropriate for boys and girls.”