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SQUEAK’S GOOD IDEA by Max Eilenberg


by Max Eilenberg & illustrated by Patrick Benson

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-7636-1591-9
Publisher: Candlewick

What’s a little elephant to do when he wants to play outdoors but everyone is too busy to accompany him? When Squeak finds himself faced with the prospect of going outside alone, he fortifies himself with a barrage of items—“just to be on the safe side.” A bit apprehensive about stepping out on his own but resolute to enjoy himself, Squeak brings along winter gear, rain gear, and enough food to feed a family of four—which turns out to be an excellent notion, as his parents and younger sibling soon join him for an impromptu picnic. Eilenberg’s (Cowboy Kid’s Bedtime, 2000) comforting tale addresses a preschooler’s emerging need for independence and the trepidation that this new desire sometimes evokes. Even before his parents arrive, Squeak discovers that he can enjoy his outing solo. Benson’s (Owl Babies, 1996, etc.) ink-and-watercolor illustrations neatly capture Squeak’s hesitancy and his determination to persevere. Warmly lit, the full-color drawings range in size from full page to smaller vignettes. Oversized type adds appeal to the already inviting format. Whether the expedition involves playing in the yard alone or heading off to school, Eilenberg’s tale serves as inspiration for fledgling adventurers. (Picture book. 3-5)