There is a book called Evergreen that has this classic looking old school squirrel on the cover. I am thinking Arnold Lobel has come back to do one more work for us! As my childhood book Miss Suzy by Miriam Young, flashes before my eyes. But then I realize it is a book by Matthew Cordell (who is also terribly cool). It is a book that just came out early February 2023.
This story is about a squirrel called Evergreen (which honestly, is a cool name for a squirrel). She is scared of everything (especially thunder). And when her mother calls to her (never a good thing as this means her mother wants her to do something that she is afraid of), to bring some soup to a person of the community (the mothers soup cure almost every illness, it is even considered to be magic), Evergreen is not sure she can. Of course, we the adult reader know that she will have adventures and be okay in the end.
With hints of Little Red Riding Hood, this modern story of courage, helping others, and staying strong is just sweet. Maybe there is nothing “new” with the theme, but the classical art style is a nice change. There are two clever twists at the end, one that that I somewhat saw coming, but at the same time did not, and the second I should have seen coming, but due to the longer format, I was not completely paying attention.
The one issue I have is that it is longer with the busy text. Still, it is a good read. It is not something that should be rushed, therefore, I do plan on a second read, not just for the text, but to read the illustrations more. The use of color (or lack of) is an interesting piece of the puzzle.