This children’s picture book is based on a true event in the author’s life. A flying squirrel was trapped inside a dresser drawer while the family’s cat stalked it. The story unfolds in such a way that we feel the poor little squirrel is doomed. It is a relief to the reader when the woman intercedes on the wild animal’s behalf preventing the cat from killing it. At the end of the book, the author shares some facts about flying squirrels.
The illustrations in this book are hilarious. I’m not sure if it is intentional, but it is almost as though everyone is made out of mohair. They all have bug eyes; they all look like they’re tripping out. The pictures are made with ink outlines and filled in with watercolor. The text and picture share a page and the illustrator varies the point of view and placement throughout the book. The woman in the story wears a puppy pink dress with the zebra apron and huge fluffy pink slippers. The pages are glossy and bright. It is a beautifully packaged product.
The story is told in rhyme which I feel was an unfortunate choice. Writing in rhyme requires great skill. The rhythm not only has to keep the same syllabication per line, but the rhyming pattern needs to hold throughout or have a logical, compelling reason to change. Even if this had been mastered, the story doesn’t suit rhyming. I think it could’ve been an incredible book if the author had written in prose. She could have invoked the atmosphere, the emotional suspense, and the beauty of nature. It still could have been humorous but it would have been smoother and more compelling.
A copy of this book was generously donated by the author to my Little Free Library.
March 24, 2017 Helping Out a Friend – The Secret Path by Nancy Gee. Illustrated by Kathleen Newman. Book Review on this blog.
March 29, 2017 Flying Squirrel Secrets: Author Nancy Gee Three Random Questions Interview on this blog.