A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Shows that squirrels live in trees and mothers will risk their own lives to protect their young. As Mama Squirrel cautions, "There's no shortage of creatures that would love to snack on a baby squirrel."
A mother will do anything, even risk her own life in facing a much larger, stronger opponent, to save her children.
Positive Role Models
Mama Squirrel is fierce, fearless, strong, resourceful, loving, and will do anything to protect her babies. The other mother squirrels pitch in to help Mama Squirrel defeat the grizzly bear.
Violence & Scariness
Squirrels throw nuts on a grizzly bear's head to get him to go away. Mama Squirrel shakes her fist in anger at intruders and yells, "Chook, chook, chook!"
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ol' Mama Squirel is a funny picture book by David Ezra Stein, author-illustrator of the 2011 Caldeott Honor Book Interrupting Chicken. It shows a fierce mother squirrel in the city protecting her babies in their tree, and involves cartoonish violence of squirrels dive-bombing and throwing nuts at intruders, scolding humans and animals by yelling, "Chook, chook, chook!" It's a great, offbeat choice for Mother's Day, and fun for kids all year round.
Is It Any Good?
Kids will love the action and funny expressions and body language of fist-shaking, scowling, scolding Ol' Mama and her kids and friends, who band together to defeat much larger, stronger opponents. The violence (nut throwing) is cartoonish and playful, accompanied by sounds like "PLONK!"
Bold black outlines and soft watercolors capture every nuance of expression and emotion, from rage to fear to glee to pride in Mama Squirrel's great accomplishment in ridding the city of a grizzly bear.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.