I just read the new Scaredy Squirrel book--Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach (Melanie Watt, 2008). It has upset me. What has happened to that lovely neurotic introvert Squirrel of Book 1 -- Scaredy Squirrel, who is still there in Book 2 --Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend (you can of course be an introvert and still have a friend or two)? What is with the crowd of gnomes at the end????? I can't believe it.
Then there's this book, which I haven't read, but which Susan over at Chicken Spaghetti just did, and liked: A Visitor for Bear, a new picture book written by Bonny Becker and illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton. She says it "is about a grouchy bear, with a "No Visitors Allowed" sign on his door, and a mouse intent on dropping in. It's one of the best books I've read in eons" and that "In the end, Bear and the mouse become friends, and Bear tears up his off-putting sign." Yoiks, I think. What a pushy mouse! Poor Bear! :)
I am an introvert, and I am not sure I will ever read this book to my children. Will it send them the message that you have to keep open house in order to be a good person? Upon reading it, will the children ask me, in their trusting little child voices, "Mama, why doesn't anyone come over to our house?" And Mama will give them the two truthful reasons why people shouldn't come over to our house uninvited:
Reason 1: "Because we have no floor on which visitors can walk because of your legos and other assorted debris."
Reason 2: "Well, you know that sign of Bear's? Mama feels a bit the same way, especially in Spring, when all she wants to do is work in the garden..."
But I will happily read and reread that nice book about the rabbit who lives all by himself and never says a word to anyone.
Athough A Visitor for Bear actually does look like a lovely book too.