Gooseberry Park
Cynthia Rylant
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Gooseberry Park

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  536 ratings  ·  80 reviews
When Kona, a Labrador retriever, meets Stumpy, a squirrel in Gooseberry Park, they're best friends at first sight. But after Stumpy's babies are born, disaster strikes in the form of a violent ice storm. Kona is "not" a fair-weather friend; he's worried sick! How will Stumpy and her babies survive? With the help of Murray, a hilarious bat, and Gwendolyn, a wise hermit crab...more
Published December 1st 1998 by Turtleback Books (first published October 13th 1995)
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I haven't a shred of objectivity about this delightful story of a squirrel named Stumpy, a bat named Murray, a dog named Kona and the wise and wonderful hermit crab, Gwendolyn.

I read this one aloud about a hundred thousand times and I loved it every bit as much as my animal-obsessed boy did. He, now an elderly teen, still reads it when he's in bed with a cold.

It's lyrical, sweet, and hilarious. There's not a mean line in this book, though there is sarcasm and teasing. There are slightly scary pa...more
A great read aloud for my 2nd grade class!
Madelynn White
This old man had a dog named kona, and kona was bestfriends with a squirell named stumpy. now stumpy is pregnant and there is a big storm coming, thats a problem. Stumpy had he babies right before the storm came. kona escaped to go checkn on stumpy and her babies cause of the storm. the tree that the squriell fammily lived in was knocked over. the babies were in there but no sign of stumpy. does kona take the babies. dose he find stumpy. what other animals does he know. you will have to read to...more
Kathryn (Nine Pages)
Aug 17, 2013 Kathryn (Nine Pages) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathryn (Nine Pages) by: Nutmeg Book Award nominee
Originally published on Nine Pages with links.

I first read Cynthia Rylant’s Gooseberry Park as part of my local library’s Nutmeg Book Award group in 2000. Looking over the list of nominees, I am either amazed that this book left such a lasting impression upon me—or certain that I missed several weeks of the program (both are possible, but the latter actually more likely as I know that Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted is on my to-read and not my read list).

I had of late been itching to reread...more
I have to say, I wasn't as knocked out by this book as I expected to be. We love Cynthia Rylant books in our home, and so when I was looking for a fall read-aloud with the girls, I pulled this off our shelf. The book was a sweet story - a mama squirrel and her babies were left out the elements when their old tree comes down in a terrible ice storm. With the help of a chocolate labrador, a bat named Murray, and a hermit crab, it all works out in the end even though the mama squirrel is temporaril...more
It always boggled my mind (and still does) that this has never been adapted into an animated film. It's got it all: A very sweet, unlikely friendship, conflict that seems real, several goofy moments, and beautiful art. If a kid you know loves animals, they'll get a kick out of this.
When each of my children were in second grade I pulled this book from our shelves to read to each one. They each equally loved it with my daughter asking me to read it to her a few times over the following couple of years. It's such a sweet story of friendship, loyalty and survival. Each of the characters are absolutely endearing and charming from lovable Kona to silly Murray. It's the kind of story that makes you want to curl up with it in a soft armchair with a cup of a tea. If you love storie...more
Erin Fowler
Fun and heartwarming story about a lovable Labrador named Kona and a soon to be mother squirrel named Stumpy. When a really bad ice storm comes to town Kona tries to find a way to save Stumpy and her brand new babies. This is a really sweet story!
Penny read this one on her own. I haven't gone back to read it myself, yet.
Fantastic story about friendship and survival! Each character is a different animal, who all come to the aid of a friend in crisis. This was a refreshing and heartwarming story, recommended by a fellow teacher. I love the wholesomeness of this book, simple and classic themes of friendship and caring, perfect for elementary. Would also be great for character comparison, with so many different animals with distinct personalities. Highly recommend.
This is a wonderful story that makes a GREAT read aloud for young children. Cynthia Rylant does an amazing job of developing memorable characters in this book. It's a story about a dog, a squirrel, and a bat who become friends, then become separated because of a terrible ice storm. The storyline keeps children on the edge of their seats, wondering whether the friends will be reunited. I love reading it over and over again.
Gooseberry Park came highly recommended as a terrific read-aloud for the first and second grade crowd. What a wonderful story with animal heroes as the main characters. I fell in love with the dog, squirrel, bat, and hermit crab. Gooseberry Park is exciting, funny and sad with ups and downs, but it has a happy ending with a terrific message of selflessness and friendship.
I loved this book! My niece let me borrow her copy (it's her favorite book of all time). It was such a great story of true friendship.....we all should be reminded of the close and most important connections in our lives. It was really heart warming and written very well. I'll read this one many more times in my lifetime.......I enjoyed it that much;-)
My girls are craving chapter books to be read to them. We've read lots of CR's picture books and even the Poppleton series. I really enjoy her writing. This book is no exception. It's a fun story of unlikely friendships between a dog, a squirrel and a hermit crab. It's a great snuggle-in-bed with your kiddos and read aloud.
Tiffany Wacaser
Trent and I read this book together. At first I was skeptical that I would enjoy the simple story of a squirrel, her babies, a hermit crab, a dog, and a bag. But I did. Trent and I had a lot of fun reading together. And I thought some of the cultural references really humorous. Definitely a fun read for kids.
I loved this clever children's book. The characters are completely endearing (for example, a bat who is a junk-food addict and loves jeopardy). The story is easily understandable for young readers, but has some humor that will reach adults as well. Definitely worth the hour or so that it takes to read!
Read this book to my little cousin, and he loved it. It was fun to read it to him. He loved the animals in the book and the smile on his face was precious.

This is a cute book to read to children. It's not too long or too short. (Around 120 pages). Would be a great bedtime story, a chapter a night.
This is one of my favorite books i have read. It showed me how truly a friend can be and the risks a friend can do for you but the only difference is that its with animals. I love to be in the wild and just listen to nature and I love animals so much. This book is funny, adventureous, and bravery.
If you haven't read this book, please do! It's an amazing, cutesy story that's good for anyone who likes animals. It was my first chapter book. It's a bit longer than many initial introductions to chapter books, but the story is better than most of those as well, so it'll keep a child's attention.
A fun family read together book.
Cat *living for the One who breaths life into me*
not really a fan of animal books but this one blew me away. i loved it. when i read it a few years ago for school i hated reading but i must say this book was great and i enjoyed it. :) cant really remember much enough about it to add a good review because i read it in like 5th grade.
This was my favorite book when I was younger. I tended to enjoy books surrounding animals, & this is full of animal adventures! :) Definitely a great book. I handed it down to my niece who also has a great love for animals & she loved the story as well.
I thought it was sad when the snow storm happened because the dog was worried about the squirrel family. The squirrel family's tree fell down,but they were not in there.The only thing that was in there was nuts for the winter,squirrel beds,and leaves.
Read Jan 2009, when Logan was 5 and just re-read in Feb 2013, at 8. He loves it both times. Humor similar to his Mr. Potter and Tabby books. Sweet story of a dog, a hermit crab, and a bat, working together to help their squirrel friend.
This was one of my favorite books as a kid. I have read it over and over again. I don't know how many times!! I was attached to the characters and the story never got old. I think I am going to read it again.... I love it so much.
Stephanie Wycihowski
I Love this book! I have read this a couple of times now and just finished reading it my second time for a new program that we started here.. a mother and daughter book club! a perfect and fun read for any animal lover!
Classic, quaint, and delightfully Rylant! Anyone who thinks she just writes picture books hasn't read some of her best - Van Gogh Cafe, Missing May, Gooseberry Park - the list goes on. Henry and Mudge lovers can now graduate.
This is my daughter's favorite book of all time. We really enjoyed reading it together. It is a great story of friendship. The characters (a dog, a bat, squirrels, and a hermit crab) are really attractive to kids.
amalia M
i can't say this was my favorite book but it was a good book. I really like the character Stumpy and Kona And the bat. The hermit crab was a cool creature to also read about. I love to read about animal adventures.
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An author of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for children and young adults as well as an author and author/illustrator of picture books for children, Cynthia Rylant is recognized as a gifted writer who has contributed memorably to several genres of juvenile literature. A prolific author who often bases her works on her own background, especially on her childhood in the West Virginia mountains, she...more
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