First published in 1871, the poem “Whisky Frisky” is reimagined with additional verses and lively photographic images.
“Frisky brisky / Hippity hop / Up he goes / To the treetop.” It’s difficult to improve on White’s bright opening (except for switching out the possibly troublesome “whisky,” of course) but the original poem was only a few lines long. Mimicking the simple, deliberately paced text, Lurie effortlessly picks up where White left off. “Scrambly brambly / No time to rest / Making a home / In a leafy nest.” The squirrels scamper up trees, nibble on nuts and evade a hawk, in a very dramatic spread. Photographs dominated by rich greens and browns capture startlingly up-close portraits of these frisky little fellows, which are normally just a blur of tail. Head’s photos freeze the squirrels in mid action, capturing quite often adorable, endearing expressions. Regardless of which came first, the new verses or the photographs, the text and illustrations are inextricably matched. Budding naturalists and park enthusiasts will appreciate this slow-motion peek into a squirrel’s life.
Some may find squirrels to be pesky, but the glee found within these pages is hard to ignore. (author’s, photographer’s notes) (Picture book. 3-5)