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SQUIRREL IN THE HOUSE by Vivian Vande Velde


by Vivian Vande Velde ; illustrated by Steve Bjorkman

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-8234-3633-0
Publisher: Holiday House

On a particularly cold, snowy afternoon, Twitch the squirrel decides to take up the next-door dog's invitation to go Inside, where the two wreak havoc before leading the man of the house Outside to rescue a small child.

Twitch understands that the world has been designed for squirrels. “Squirrels are everybody’s best friend.” Cold and curious one winter day, Squirrel heads for the “grand brick entryway…straight down from the roof right into the heart of the house.” There, he finds mysterious objects everywhere, as well as many delicious foods to eat. But Twitch is not the only guest; young relatives are also visiting today. When the dog and the youngest visitor chase Twitch, many things get broken. The child is blamed, runs Outside into the cold and snow, falls, and hurts his ankle so he can't get up. As a “polite guest of honor,” Twitch knows he has a duty to alert the people to find him, but how? This humorous story is told cheerfully from the squirrel's extremely filtered perspective in present tense, with a surprisingly elevated language. (After all, he is “highly educated.”) Readers do not have to have read 8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel ÷ 1 Dog = Chaos (2011) to enjoy this squirrel's-eye view of the world and the slapstick humor. Short chapters illustrated with pen-and-ink line drawings add to the appeal.

Delightfully nutty chapter-book fare.

(Fiction. 7-10)