As winter nears, a squirrel and a bird forge a friendship.
When autumn comes, Squirrel gets busy, dashing up and down trees to gather nuts. He’s in the middle of a good rest when a little bird lands next to him. Squirrel offers a nut to eat, but the bird eats only worms. A little gentle coaxing gets the bird to try it, and: “Nuts are delicious!” he declares. Squirrel invites the bird to climb, but he doesn’t know how. Instead he flies up to meet his new friend, sitting on the topmost branch of the tree and sweetly singing; it gives Squirrel goosebumps. Squirrel can’t sing, but he can hum, and they make beautiful music together. The day gets even better when they play and climb, jump and hop, fly and spring; and sing all day long! At the end of the day, they sit on the grass together, eating and watching the sunset. “And that’s how Squirrel and the bird stayed together. And it didn’t matter at all that they were very different. It was exactly right, just the way it was.” Schomburg and Röttgen present their lesson on diversity and celebrating it with a deft touch, their focus on the characters’ experiences keeping the book from ever sounding didactic. Julian gives both characters, especially Squirrel, sweet and gentle demeanors; their woodland playscape is suffused with bright, warm colors.
Lovely and sweet. (Picture book. 3-5)