Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Dan Elish & illustrated by Denys Cazet

Age Range: 9 & up

Pub Date: March 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-531-05995-2
Publisher: Orchard

 Tired of the humans' rudeness and their trash, Scruff the squirrel mounts an uprising in N.Y.C.'s Central Park beginning when, to the humans' astonishment, a line of squirrels successfully blocks traffic at one entrance. Nearly captured by the police, Scruff is rescued by ten-year-old Sally March, who is taken with the squirrels' efforts. Believing that Sally could aid their cause, Scruff's comrade, Franklin the pigeon, tries to communicate through her with words torn from a newspaper by his bookish friend Mort, a mouse. An absolute purist, Scruff refuses to have anything to do with humans; still, time and again, Sally comes to the animals' aid. She even comes up with the key to their success: country birds are recruited to line the walls bounding the park, blocking all human access. It's also Sally who mediates the final resolution to the standoff, saving the animals from physical harm as the humans try to reopen the park, and finally gaining Scruff's grudging respect. Populated with endearing, well-developed characters, this light, entertaining story will appeal even to reluctant readers. Particularly engaging are Scruff, who suffers from Napoleonic tendencies, and Franklin, a practical pigeon who loves classical music. Cazet's cartoony illustrations warmly extend the humor. (Fiction. 9+)