Author & Illustrator: Lois Ehlert
Age Level: 3-6 years
Nuts To You! By Lois Ehlert is a picture book with a simple plot. Narrated by a child, it is about a squirrel who climbs around his building looking for food.
The squirrel gets into his mother’s window boxes and eats up the bulbs, and tries to steal seeds from the bird feeders.
The narrator feels compelled to do something when the squirrel sits outside the window screen looking for food. Like any other child, the narrator runs outside and drops a few peanuts on the sidewalk.
The squirrel eats the nuts and runs away. Now the narrator feels that there is a connection between the two of them and that the squirrel will come back for more. The child promises to carry a few peanuts to feed the squirrel.
My children were comparing the squirrel in the book to those that run up and down the trees in our yard and jump on the fences gathering acorns. My five year old had many questions about how animals have to forage for food in the cities and in the countryside.
The illustrations in Nuts to You! are gorgeous. In her characteristic style, Ehlert uses paper cuts to illustrate the book and we just love how vibrant the pictures are. At the end of the book, there is a page spread with information about squirrels which answered my little animal helpers’ questions. This is an excellent book for the fall unit.
Here’s an interview of Lois Ehlert for the Reading Rockets: