Feb 7, 2012

The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel

by Thornton W. Burgess

Some time ago I saw another blogger (I can't remember who now nor find it in my google reader, so if it's you let me know!) discussed one of Burgess' Bedtime Stories, a tale of a woodchuck wandering from home. It immediately reminded me of some stories my father shared with us, that I think he used to read as a child- a collection of stories about animals in the forest who talk to each other yet behave in many ways as their real wild counterparts do.

 Well, it made me look for more of these books, and I've found them quite delightful. In The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel, the squirrel gets himself into trouble with a weasel, because of his saucy tongue. He quits his home for a while, but in looking for a new place to live only lands in more difficulties. Chatterer finds himself trapped by the farmer's boy, and although his cage is quite comfortable and free of dangers he pines for his freedom. By the end of his stay in the farmer's shed, the little squirrel has realized the value of freedom, who his friends really are, and that first impressions aren't always accurate. I really liked this little story. It's got an old-fashioned voice which I enjoy. The morals come across clearly but don't feel too heavy-handed either. The illustrations, while charming in their own way, don't really appeal to me. I'm still not sure if this author is the same as the one my father used to read to us, and I know for sure the book of animal stories we read way back when had different pictures...

I've already got two more of these Bugress books at hand, and have ordered several more through Book Mooch (the library having only three of his seventy-odd published stories). I'm looking forward to reading more of the animal adventures.

rating: 4/5 ....... 190 pages, 1915

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