Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend

Last updated Friday, February 17, 2012

Author: Melanie Watt
Illustrator: Melanie Watt
Date of Publication: 2011
ISBN: 1554533856
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2012

Synopsis: From School Library Journal:
Scaredy Squirrel is lonely, but he thinks that the pleasure of making a friend would be outweighed by the greater risk of potential danger. After all, there are a lot of things that bite out in the big world beyond his tree trunk such as beavers, bunnies, and, of course, Godzilla. Always thinking, Scaredy decides that the perfect friend (as in perfectly safe, clean, and quiet) would be the goldfish he spots across the park. He carefully outlines everything he will need to do to introduce himself to it, including handing over the Scaredy Risk Test to insure that his new friend is truly not a biter. What the squirrel doesn't plan for is the muddy, rowdy dog he encounters en route. However, he learns that friends come in all sorts of packages and that making an effort can really have rewards. The life lessons of the importance of overcoming one's fears and not judging on outward appearance are wrapped up in a witty package of deceptively simple cartoonlike illustrations that deliver great humor in a variety of lists and diagrams, such as the items Scaredy will need to make the perfect friend, how to outfit himself to make the perfect first impression, and an especially funny Perfect Plan map. The ebullient artwork, clever layout, and lively text make for a surefire hit.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you know what "scaredy" is?
•  Do you have friends?
•  What are you afraid of?

•  scaredy: someone who is scared easily
•  dangerous: risky, chance of being hurt
•  encounter: meeting someone
•  perfect: nothing wrong with something
•  impression: thoughts and ideas about something or someone

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What do you think of Scaredy's plan?
•  Do you think Scaredy's plan will work out?
•  Has anything turned out differently that you wanted it to or thought it would?
•  Who is in the mirror?
•  Do you think the dog is a better friend than the fish?

Craft ideas:
•  Paper squirrel paper character
•  Squirrel puppet with paper lunch bags
•  Draw a list of things you need to make a friend

Special activities:
•  Play fish, fish, dog

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!