We have a squirrel problem at my house. I fight with those darn squirrels every year when I plant my sunflower seeds. I plant hundreds every year and I never have a single flower to show for it. I haven’t given up on my planting, but every year I cringe as I watch them digging through my garden. This year, we’ve added a huge bird feeder to the garden and guess who LOVES their new feeding station.
Yep, those darn squirrels! I started with the feeder in a tree, but that was just a breakfast buffet waiting to happen. Then, I figured that I would put the bird feeder on a tall pole and they wouldn’t be able to get to the seeds. Wrong! Even when I put the bird feeder at the highest point, the squirrels can jump to it from the ground. Those who can’t jump as well, try to climb the pole. We have spent many meals, sitting at the kitchen table, laughing hysterically at the squirrels climbing up the pole and sliding back down because they just can’t quite make it. Don’t worry, they always end up perched on the feeder in the end. Those darn squirrels are so persistent when it comes to their food!
Well, you can imagine my delight when I saw this book!
I absolutely HAD to buy it. I originally saw it as a recommendation in my Teaching Young Children magazine. (TYC is a complimentary magazine that you receive when you are a member of the National Association of Educators of Young Children.) I ordered the book off of amazon and my son opened the package when it arrived. He immediately started laughing because he knew exactly why I bought it. I told him that it was a perfect book to use in my kindergarten classroom.
So, how am I going to use this book? First, it will be a perfect book to model text to self connections. As I’m reading the book, I can tell the kids stories of the squirrels in my backyard and the funny things we watch them do. I would be willing to bet a few kids would be able to share a story or two about squirrels they have seen. If they don’t have a story to share, I’m hoping it will encourage kids to keep their eyes open for squirrels when they are at home, and that they will take a minute to watch them. Second, I can show kids that books can help writers gather ideas for Writer’s Workshop. After reading this book, I know that I need to tell my story about the time the squirrel climbed the pole but then got high-centered at the top, and rocked back and forth for a while. Oh, dear. I think I had tears rolling down my face watching that chubby little guy. Finally, because I have pictures of the squirrels in my backyard, I can use those pictures to help me think of details I want to add to my illustration or text. I often find that when kids look at a photograph, they remember other elements to add. It’s just one more way to get kids to expand their thinking.
The purpose of my bird feeder was to feed the birds, but I must say, we’ve had so much fun watching our furry friends that I’m not too disappointed that they are scaring off our feathered friends.