Life in the Neck: Squirrel Trouble
by Diane Davies
Beaver’s Pond Press

"They only weigh ounces, but have a lot of energy and like to be busy and bossy."

Eli worked hard to build a fort with his dad during the summer. The animals of the Neck noticed this impressive fort, and soon some pesky red squirrels had moved in. The red squirrels found the fort to be rather cozy and began to build up their stash for winter. When Eli finds himself repeatedly cleaning up the mess from their stash, he asks his dad for advice. Together, they check online and find a set of steps to follow. Eli follows the steps carefully, trapping the red squirrels and taking them away from the fort to set them free. However, the red squirrels are just as determined as Eli, and they repeat these steps until Eli adds one of his own, learning to live with the squirrels.

Told in short chapters, this book is ideal for young readers of chapter books who will admire the full-page illustrations while reading the short paragraphs featured on each page spread. The story is highly relatable, as children will often encounter challenging problems they will need to solve, even if their problems are not as persistent as red squirrels. This book illustrates the steps for handling problems, including doing research and following steps to attempt to solve them. Davies even goes a step further to demonstrate that not all problems can be solved; sometimes people may have to make the best out of the situation in which they find themselves. With rural charm, adorable animals, and a storyline that is both cute and straightforward, this book has broad appeal for young readers. Lovely illustrations complement the text in this charming story of persistence and problem-solving.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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