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Merle the High Flying Squirrel
by Bill Peet
Unhappy about the noise and clutter of the city, a squirrel travels west to find peace and quiet in the forest of giant trees he has heard about.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published October 24th 1983 by HMH Books for Young Readers
(first published March 1st 1974)
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Oh how I love this book. So does my grandson, so it's appealing to a 60-year age span. From the grandson's 5-year-old perspective, it's about a squirrel's escape from a dirty city, a high-flying adventure clinging to a kite, and a conclusion finding a home high in a redwood forest. From this grandpa's 65-year-old perspective, it's about Bill Peet's trademark themes of nasty urban environments, animal pluck and courage, awesome natural landscapes and a dose of good luck. Peet's cities make me thi ...more
Merle's entire life has been confined to a city park, until he hears an old man talking about the western redwoods. He then embarks on a quest to find these redwoods and discovers that the feeling of smallness you get in an ancient forest is a better feeling than the smallness you experience in a big city.
Squirrels: they're literally everywhere you look, but how often does a wild one get to star in his own story? Like Fly, Homer, Fly, it's another story about escaping the city for the peace and quiet of more open spaces. But this one comes with the priceless imagery of Merle somehow clinging to an obliviously smiling kite for miles on end. Whenever he scolds/pleads in vain for the kite to stop and come down, I always picture angry squirrel chattering and it makes me laugh. Have I mentioned my gen ...more
Bill Peet was an American children's book illustrator and a story writer for Disney Studios. He joined Disney in 1937 and worked on The Jungle Book, Song of the South, Cinderella, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, Goliath II, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, Pinocchio, Fantasia, The Three Caballeros, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and other stories.More about Bill Peet...