The Scaredy Squirrel Collection

Tundra. May 2023. 60p. $14. ISBN 9781770499485.
K-Gr 3–Watt’s hybrid graphic series gets bundled together, each volume energetically, earnestly narrated by Canadian actor Ramakrishnan (yes, Netflix’s Never Have I Ever star!) making her audiobook debut. All seven (thus far) of Watt’s sciurine adventures are here in published order: Scaredy Squirrel, Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend, Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach, Scaredy Squirrel at Night, Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party, Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping, and Scaredy Squirrel Visits the Doctor. Each gets embellished with jaunty music and enhancing background soundtracks. Technical quibble: rather than releasing the library download as a single one-hour track, producers could have enabled easier read-along listening with separate tracks for each book. Interestingly, this is not a first aural attempt: the first two books have audios narrated by veteran David de Vries whose recordings seem more complete with the additional (cleverly funny) “Here’s the story in a nutshell” introductions, cautionary notes about who should not read these books (green Martians, for one), and warnings to brush teeth or wash hands before reading; de Vries also voiced three “Scaredy” animated shorts.
VERDICT Libraries might offer both versions, although the all-in-one convenience will likely be preferred.

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