Squirrels on Skis by J. Hamilton Ray, Illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre

imgres-1Kids jump right into Squirrels on Skis, delighting in the zany story of a town overrun by squirrels swishing and swooping  among their houses, churches and shops. It’s no wonder this book is a Cat in the Hat Beginner Book with short rhythmic rhymes packed with energetic fun in the tradition of Dr. Seuss. Whether being read to or reading independently, kids couldn’t wait to turn the page to see what happened next. Overcome by this nuisance, the townspeople meet to get a plan to curb the enthusiastic skiers. “Mr. Powers stood up- to make his proposal: ‘There are many good ways to do squirrel disposal.'” Reporter Sally Sue Breeze needs to investigate fast to come up with a plan to save the squirrels from Mr. Powers’ proposed vacuum device.  With a deeper plot than many easy readers, this book provides plenty to talk about to expand and build language–predicting throughout, explaining why? and discussing feelings. Descriptive, onomatopoetic words fascinate readers, “With a swish and a swoop ad a crackle and crunch, they had so much fun skiing, they forgot to eat lunch,” building vocabulary and  comprehension skills, while Lemaitre’s delightful cartoon illustrations enhance the story providing detail for re-tell activities and inferential thinking.

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