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Bird & Squirrel On The Run! by J. Burks

Burks, James. Bird & Squirrel On The Run! New York: Scholastic Graphix, 2012. Print.

After years as an artist in the hallways of the animation industry, author/illustrator James Burks takes an unlikely duo on an adventure of discovered friendship. Timid Squirrel, complete with winter food preparations and a fear of almost everything (“Don’t you know that cats are responsible for 47 percent of all squirrel deaths each year?”), suddenly loses his winter safety net in dramatic fashion, catching the hungry eye of a determined and ferocious cat.  Squirrel has no choice but to grudgingly pair himself with the animal responsible for his loss, an adventurous Bird who brazenly lives in the moment (“The world is our oyster!”) but who attracts trouble with every swoop of his wing.  Together they venture south to find warmth and food, dodging their persistently predatory cat and other natural hazards but find help along the way from a kind family of moles.  A few shared life and death adventures later, Bird and Squirrel begin to appreciate and learn from each other’s ways, discovering new aspects of their own personalities while becoming true friends in the process.  

Burks uses clean lines and brightly coloured characters against more neutral backgrounds to frame clear and simple facial expressions that will appeal to younger readers. The fast paced story is presented with minimal change in perspective and timeline which makes this an ideal introduction to graphic novels for younger readers.
Recommended: 3 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Annabelle Pendry

Annabelle Pendry loves her job as Teacher Librarian at Mount Pleasant Elementary in Vancouver, BC.