- Book Style: Storybook for children
- Reading Level: 2 (Read with Help due to: some mid-level vocabulary)
- Reading Length: 5-7 minutes (FYI – we never account for toddler questions)
- Illustration: Cartoonish, cute, bright
- Age Target: 3-6 Years of Age
Cyril Squirrel and The Long Run Home is a fun storybook for toddlers and children. The story is about a brother and a sister (squirrels, FYI) who have been asked to go out and get acorns for the family. Unfortunately for them, there are a lot of predators out in the world and they run into quite a few of them. There are a few close calls, but they make it home safely by evading each animal and obstacle. They then get to eat with their family and keep their adventure secret.
If I was to describe this book in just one word…it would be “cute”. Everything about the book is cute, and it’s just a plain fun story to read. The characters are cute. The story is cute. The illustrations are cute. It’s just really cute…but enough about cute!
The brother (Cyril) and sister (Beth) are our main protagonists; it’s fun that the story is told from their perspectives, simply because they’re squirrels. What I also find fun is that they act much like any real squirrel I’ve come in contact with. They’re quick, jumpy, excellent at evading anything, and even a little forgetful in their panic. We even see Cyril running home and forgetting about his sister and their friend, Molly (the mouse you see above).
One of the things that immediately grabs you about this book is the amount of end rhymes employed by our author, Melinda Kinsman. She ensures just about every page has a (near) perfect rhyme. I say near perfect because, as you can see in the picture above, it’s pretty hard to rhyme with frustration. In any case, both the way the lines are written and the rhymes contained within each page make this a very easy read. It also helps the reader maintain cadence while reading and helps your child to retain the story. All of these things are great and really make the book wonderful.
As I said previously, this is one cute book. The illustrations are both cute and interesting, as the squirrels are simply drawn, yet very fun to look at. I’m instantly drawn to the faces of the squirrels and most of the characters in the book. They’re also very carefully posed characters. Have a look at the picturebelow. Each characters’ face has a different expression that’s very telling of how they’re feeling or what they’re doing. It’s a great style that works perfectly with these characters and this story.
There are a few extras in this book…and I know you like extras! There are a few puzzles and games at the back of the book. There’s also a challenge at the start to find the green leaf on each page. I love books like this because it gives you something extra to do with your child, and they seem to like the book more in general.
Another thing that’s great about this book is the fact that it’s part of an immense collection by Melinda Kinsmen. She is a true author and loves to produce books that are fun, cute, and provide some educational value too. Her books are all ridiculously well priced as well, as the Kindle Editions tend to be under $1 USD. There are also paperback copies at an incredibly reasonable price of $7.99 USD.
In case you haven’t already run off to Amazon and bought some of Melinda’s books…here’s a link:
Finally, Melinda has her own website all about her children’s books. It has some free printables on it, as well as more details on lots of her books.
Until next time, Smash, Crash, and Learn!