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“What’s it going to be? Die cold and alone on your own, back home. . . or take a chance, maybe have some fun and die with me” Bird. –Bird & Squirrel On The Run
Bird & Squirrel On The Run
Bird & Squirrel #1
by James Burks
AR Test, Good for Reluctant Readers, Graphic Novel
Squirrel is busy preparing for winter. He’s collected and stored enough acorns to last him through spring. Meanwhile, Bird is enjoying riding the air currents. When Bird invites Squirrel to go south with him, Squirrel isn’t interested. But when Cat decides that he’d like nothing better than to eat Bird for lunch, Squirrel jumps to the rescue. Unfortunately, he also loses all of his acorns. With his winter supply of food gone, Squirrel reluctantly decides to head south with Bird. Cat sneakily follows, waiting for a perfect opportunity to make Bird his lunch.
Filled with cat chases, misfortune, and other drama, Bird’s and Squirrel’s adventure is pure fun. The two friends are comically different. Every time something bad happens, Squirrel is convinced that “We’re gonna die!” On the other hand, Bird looks on the bright side of everything. When all of their possessions are lost, Bird holds up a toothbrush and says, “Look on the bright side, we still have your toothbrush.” The interplay between Bird and Squirrel will make readers laugh out loud.
Bird and Squirrel’s adventure is reminiscent of Tom and Jerry. Every time Cat tries to sneak up and eat Bird, Cat ends up being injured in some way. As Bird and Squirrel try to avoid Cat, they run into a funny family of moles, a raging river, a slimy snake, and other misfortunes. Even though Bird & Squirrel on the Run is full of slapstick humor, the graphic novel also teaches the importance of friendship and working together.
The story is illustrated with brightly colored panels. Much like a cartoon, the illustrations use exaggerated facial expressions to add to the humor. Each page contains one to six simple sentences. Bird & Squirrel on the Run will appeal to even the most reluctant readers. Bird and Squirrel’s silly antics will keep readers interested as it teaches the importance of enjoying life, even if you’re being chased by a cat. Readers who want more animal mischief should read the Pets on the Loose Series by Victoria Jamieson.
- Cat spends a lot of time chasing Bird. The first time that Cat tries to chomp Bird, Bird crashes into a tree and falls to the ground. To help Bird, Squirrel throws acorns at Cat. When an acorn avalanche begins, it sweeps Squirrel and Cat into a river. The scene is illustrated over eight pages.
- Bird and Squirrel pack up to head south, when Cat decides to chase them. Bird and Squirrel fall into the river and lose all of their belongings. The scene is described over three pages.
- When Cat chases Bird and Squirrel, the two friends hide in a hole. Cat tries to follow, but he cannot fit inside the hole. With his butt pointing up out of the hole, Cat is hit by lightning. The scenes is illustrated over three pages.
- Bird accidentally angers bees, and the bees chase him. Bird leads the bees to Squirrel, who is shown with stingers sticking out of his face and body. The scene is described over three pages.
- While walking through a dark forest, a snake attacks Bird and Squirrel. The snake wraps its tail around Squirrel, and Bird flies to the rescue. The scene is illustrated over five pages.
- A hawk scares Bird, who is carrying Squirrel. Bird drops Squirrel, but is able to grab him before he smashes into the ground. The hawk gives chase, but Bird is able to get Squirrel to safety.
- When it looks like Bird is in trouble, Squirrel jumps on the hawk’s back. The hawk stops chasing Bird, and drops Squirrel, who falls to the ground. The scene is illustrated over six pages.
- Cat again tries to eat Bird. When Cat holds Bird to the ground, Squirrel throws a rock and hits Cat between the eyes. Squirrel taunts Cat, “I bet you’re too slow and too stupid to catch me!” Cat chases Squirrel and the hawk grabs Cat and carries him away. The scene is illustrated over six pages.
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