In this lift-the-flap book, the titular squirrel has hidden all of his acorns and needs assistance finding them.
Readers help the squirrel find his well-hidden acorns via color and number cues. The book progresses color by color and also sequentially as the squirrel searches for one red acorn, then two yellow acorns, and so on. Gaggiotti’s digital illustrations are charming—especially of the sneaky, snacky squirrel and his bird friends—but page to page, there is little variation to hold readers’ interest. The tree appears on each spread but remains mostly the same. The background color behind the text offers the most dramatic difference from a design perspective. The flaps are difficult to see and vary in placement from scene to scene, which is perhaps part of the challenge. Though the text asks readers to find a specific number and color of acorns, there are not multiple colors or differences in numbers from which readers can choose to guide them to the “correct” choices vis-à-vis the decoys. For example, on one spread, the choice is simply between an acorn and a piece of pizza. If readers coincidentally find the acorn or acorns first, there is no need to look under other flaps. The book doesn’t allow readers to explore the differences among colors and quantities, which robs it of some of its developmental oomph.
Readers may well enjoy the colorful (if repetitive) illustrations and lifting the flaps even though there isn’t much point to what’s underneath them. (Board book. 1-3)