A race to the final pine cone leads to a great friendship.
“Spontaneous Cyril” lives in “the now and the here,” but as winter approaches, his cupboards are bare. When he spots a pine cone with the last nuts of the season, he sprints for it. But so does “Plan-Ahead Bruce,” and so the “wild, nutty” race begins. Of course, the pine cone falls. It “boing[s] over bushes…bing[s] on the nose of a slumbering bear,” and “bounce[s] over boulders” before coming to a stop, poised on the edge of a cliff. After close encounters with a pine cone–stealing bird and a waterfall, is it possible that “their nutty young hopes [might] simply end in despair?” Luckily, Cyril pulls Bruce to safety. “Bruised and bedraggled” both, Bruce and Cyril look at each other and burst into giggles over how silly they’ve been and declare a lasting friendship. Energetic word choices and funny, exciting illustrations make this a great read all the way to the clear, satisfying moral. While it’s debatable if “Cyril” and “squirrel” rhyme, the rest of the text definitely does, and it has a natural meter. Descriptive, often alliterative verb choices add to the fun. Richly colored artwork in a lively mix of compositions and perspectives captures the action of the bouncing pine cone and the squirrels’ wild water ride. Low contrast between text and background on a few pages makes prereading a must before a read-aloud.
A wild, rewarding ride. (Picture book. 3-6)