Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend by Mélanie Watt

Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend by Mélanie Watt
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Genre: Childrens, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (32 pages)
Age Recommendation: 3+
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

That lovable little worrywart is back. And he’s as scaredy as ever! In his latest adventure, Scaredy Squirrel sets out to make The Perfect Friend.

And once he’s spotted a perfectly safe candidate (with no teeth), Scaredy’s ready. Armed with a name tag, mittens, a mirror and a lemon, he’s prepared to make The Perfect First Impression. But just when every detail is under control, Scaredy’s Action Plan takes a surprising — and ?toothy? — turn. Will he survive this ordeal? Will he find his kindred spirit? Will he discover the true meaning of friendship? Read Scaredy’s nutty story to find out …

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Social anxiety is something that affects people of all ages, so I loved the fact that this story had so much compassion and understanding for the main character. Scaredy Squirrel explained all of the precautions he’d take before going anywhere new in the opening scene. The nice thing about that description was how matter-of-fact it was. He knew he needed to do these things in order to have enough courage to step out of his comfort zone, and he was completely open about all of the steps he’d take before leaving home every time he went out to make friends. I really liked that about this character.

There was only one small part of this tale that I wish had been written a little differently, and it had to do with Scaredy Squirrel’s original plans to make a new friend. He had such a firm idea of what it was going to be like and who he would be spending time with that I would have enjoyed a little more closure for this original plotline since he talked about it so much in the beginning. With that being said, this was a very minor criticism of something I adored overall.

The character development was wonderful. Social anxiety isn’t something that magically goes away on its own, but there are things that kids and adults can do to reduce its impact on their lives if they’re willing to put some time into it. I was so happy with how this character grew as an individual while at the same time remaining true to himself. It sent such a positive message to anyone who reads this who has similar concerns about meeting new people.

This book is part of a series, but it can be read on its own or out of order.

Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend is a must-read for anyone who has ever felt anxious about doing something out of the ordinary.


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