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“You think this is important. This stuff. Your home. It Doesn’t Care About You. It’s not going to pick you up when you’re sad. It doesn’t care whether you live or die!” Bird. –Bird & Squirrel On Fire
Bird & Squirrel On Fire
Bird & Squirrel #4
by James Burks
AR Test, Graphic Novel
It’s been a long, crazy trip around the world. Now the duo is back in their beloved forest, and Bird wants to throw a party! But Squirrel isn’t in the mood to celebrate. His house needs a good cleaning, the river has been dammed up by a pesky beaver, and the forest animals are jittery about a growing menace. Will the dam dry out the forest? Will the mysterious new danger ruin the party? Will Bird finally convince Squirrel to let go and just have a good time? Find out in their hilarious new adventure!
Unfortunately, the third installment of Bird & Squirrel isn’t as funny as the previous books. The story’s plot is not well-developed; in most scenes Bird and Squirrel are being chased by rats or arguing. The story follows the same format as Bird & Squirrel on the Edge, except this time Bird and Squirrel are running from rats instead of wolves. The story never explains why the rats have suddenly began trapping forest animals, which may leave some readers scratching their heads in confusion.
The story adds a few new characters, but the characters don’t add much interest. Bird and Squirrel meet a grumpy beaver that has a log as a friend. However, the beaver is strange instead of funny. In addition to the beaver, Bird and Squirrel also meet a lady squirrel named Red. Squirrel soon develops a crush and has difficulty talking around Red, which adds a little romance to the story.
Bird & Squirrel on Fire isn’t as funny as the previous books, but Squirrel shows significant growth. When Squirrel’s belongings burn in a forest fire, Squirrel learns that people are more important than possessions. Bird’s disappearance causes Squirrel to reevaluate his life. At the end of the story, Squirrel teaches his daughter to be brave but cautious. Fans of the previous books will still enjoy the interplay between Bird and Squirrel, and they will wonder if Squirrel’s new brave attitude will continue in Bird & Squirrel All Tangled Up.
- Several months pass after the dam disaster, Squirrel and Red are seen at home with their daughter.
- Bird and Squirrel fall into a trap. They fall into a dark hole, are tied together, and hang from the ceiling. Bones are scattered on the floor. Oversized rats show up to eat them, but Bird and Squirrel are able to escape. The scene is illustrated over six pages.
- As Bird and Squirrel run from the rats, they find Mouse hanging from the ceiling with a boiling cauldron underneath him. Bird and Squirrel help mouse down, but then the rats corner the three friends. Squirrel shoves a rock into a rat’s mouth, and then rocks begin falling from the ceiling. The three friends are able to escape the cave. The scene is illustrated over nine pages.
- All of the forest creatures gather for a party. The rats show up and chase the animals. In the confusion, a fire starts. The rat chase scene is illustrated over six pages.
- As Bird and Squirrel are trying to break a dam, the rats appear, but before they can eat the two friends, the dam breaks and the rats are taken downstream.
- A burning tree falls on Red, landing on her tail. A rat threatens to eat her, but is taken out when the dam breaks. Bird, Squirrel, Red, and the rats are swilling in the water. The rats and Bird disappear, but the Squirrel and Red are safe. Months later, Bird shows up.
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