Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins

Nuts To You is a very unique, thoroughly distinct, middle grade story featuring anthropomorphic, peanut butter jonesing, sarcastic squirrels. The dialogue is snappy and the author enjoys throwing bon mots as frequently as the squirrels drop acorns. A lot of it may go over kids’ heads but the action will be enough to keep them entertained while also piquing parents’ interest.

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Story: A gray squirrel is kidnapped by a hawk; rather than being a bird’s dinner, he uses squirrel mystical techniques to get the Hawk to drop him. Unfortunately, he’s left at an area that is being pruned for being too close to power lines. Two friends set out to save him, new friends help him along the way, and they will all race back to save his tribe of squirrels from the saws.

The dialogue was amusing; e.g., there were a lot of asides from the author about the silly nature of squirrels or how they view the world. Grey squirrels will meet up with red squirrels and face a language barrier of unique dimensions: mix up cockney, southern comfort, and midwest hick and you get an idea of how the red squirrels sound.

I appreciate that the author avoided the ‘save the forest’ cliche – this isn’t about man taking away old growth trees. Rather, the pathways around powerlines are being trimmed and pruned. Still problematic to the squirrels but there is no big message here.  This is a simple action-adventure will silly undertones.

In all, I enjoyed reading this to my 10 year old. It really is the perfect read-out-loud book that parents can really get into and children appreciate.  Reviewed from an ARC.

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