Squirrel Do Bad (Trubble Town, #1) – Stephan Pastis, Aladdin, 2021. 9781534496118
Format: Hardcover graphic novel
What did you like about the book? Wendy the Wanderer lives with her overprotective Dad, Worried Willy, in a purple mushroom-shaped house. Her father is so protective that Wendy spends most of her time inside the house. When her father has to go on a trip he hires Watchful Willamina to look after Wendy, not knowing that Willamina hasn’t a watchful bone in her body, preferring to spend time taking selfies and playing with her phone. So Wendy can escape! yay! to see the world. The first thing she does is buy a mooshy which she shares with Squirrely McSquirrel when she runs out of nuts. The sugar content sends Squirrelly through the roof where all manner of trouble ensues – that is blamed on Squirrelly even when he is not responsible.
As the townspeople take off after Squirrely all manner of fascinating characters turn up: the lovesick chihuahua (his beloved is a fluffy white cat in the house next door), the Three Moles, the mayor who sits up in a tree, Nutman and Sheriff O’Shifty who hates squirrels.
The book is hilarious with the most outrageous characters ever created for one book. The skin color of the humans is varied with Wendy (with purple hair) and her father being brown-skinned. Illustrations were created digitally in a bright and simple cartoon-style (most faces only have eyes and a mouth filled with teeth). Text is hand-lettered.
Anything you did not like about the book? There are a couple questionable bits of humor: “And all the Grandpas tripped.” Followed by “It’s funny when Grandpas fall.” I’m also not sure about the Nanny who takes care of all the babies in town while running a dynamite factory. She keeps the dynamite well away from the babies unless she needs one of them to deliver a stick of dynamite…
To whom would you recommend this book? This is likely to appeal to those who like Dog Man (Pilkey) and big Nate (Peirce), Caveboy Dave (McAndrew) and Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy (Savage).
Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries
Where would you shelve it? J Graphic novels
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? For those who like ridiculous, hilarious graphic novels aimed at the 3rd through 6th grade crowd, yes.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Editor, Youth Services Book Review
Date of Review: September 5, 2021