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The Squirrel's Birthday and Other Parties
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The Squirrel's Birthday and Other Parties

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  176 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
This charming little book is as delicious as a piece of cake—which just happens to be Squirrel’s favorite food! Young readers are invited to Squirrel’s birthday party—and into a magical world of the imagination. Brief, evocative, thought-provoking, and unlike anything else ever written, Toon Tellegen’s extraordinary tales are rich in unforgettable, even surrealistic images ...more
Hardcover, 156 pages
Published November 3rd 2009 by Boxer Books (first published 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sep 16, 2009 Betsy rated it it was amazing
My mother likes to say that "cute is a defense mechanism". That there are creatures in this world that need to be cute in order to stay alive. I agree with this, but I'd argue that there are different kinds of cute out there. There's the saccharine sugary stuff that makes your teeth hurt for a week. There's the instantaneous cute that is so mesmerizing you're actually afraid to look away. And then there's the quiet, understated cute that charms you with its intricacy and delicate wit. How's that ...more
Sandra Stiles
Sep 26, 2009 Sandra Stiles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
I know I am probably in the minority here but I rather enjoyed this little book. The illustrations were simple and beautiful. The stories at times had to be re-read because they have been translated. The way the story is developed is so different from the way American writers write. I felt like I was sitting in a proper English school listening to a tale. Some of the words were definately too difficult for younger children. My 8th graders didn't understand they writing because they seemed almost ...more
We read both the Squirrel's Party book and the Letters to Anyone by Tellegen/Ahlberg. The illustrations! SO charming! I couldn't stop looking. The stories are quirky to our ears and we were pretty mystified at first. Many of the stories seem quite unresolved. But once we read a bit more, we got used to it and really started to like the stories. I would recommend reading the Letters book first because the bits are short. In the Squirrel Pary book the first story is pretty long and it ends in an u ...more
Nov 24, 2009 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Allison
This small chapter book, a collection of animal stories by renowned Dutch author Toon Tellegen, reminds me in equal parts of Winnie-the-Pooh, the Beatrix Potter stories, and The Little Prince. It would be a great gift for a child or adult with that kind of spirit.

The story "A cake for someone who doesn't feel like cake" could possibly be a fun short puppet skit, with a little more of an ending added. These stories often seem to stop abruptly, on a philosophical note rather than a plot point, but
Margaret Behr
Nov 03, 2015 Margaret Behr rated it really liked it
I read this because it appeared on a list for young, strong readers. It was strange, whimsy, and delightful. My favorite story was the first one, "The Squirrel's Birthday." The others were a little odd and not entirely resolved, but that's part of the magic. I truly enjoyed this book because it reminded me of the magic in children's books.

Favorite quote(s):

Dear Whale,
I'm not sure if you exist, but I'm inviting you to my party anyway. Tomorrow, on the beach. If you exist, will you come?
The Seagul
Mar 19, 2011 Scott rated it it was amazing
As with "Letter's to Anyone and Everyone," this book is a gem. My 6 and 3 year old girls loved it, but it is more than a children's book. It is somber and philosophical and delightful. And the accompanying illustrations are perfect, which highlights the rich poetic imagery such as cakes made of water, Night literally "strolling" along, and a whale and a seagull dancing at a heart-warming beach party. And it also contains the answer to the question: what is a speck of dust worth? The answer: A fo ...more
Green Bean
Nov 06, 2011 Green Bean rated it it was amazing
The last thing Squirrel wants is a boring birthday, so he invites every furry, winged and finned creature he knows to his party, and they all RSVP, even Whale! The friends dance and snack and schmooze until glowworm is too sleepy to glow, and hippo starts to yawn. But never fear readers, the fun isn't over because this beginning chapter book is filled with festivals--a housewarming for snail, and a costume party with snakes disguised as mice, and elephants clad as butterflies!
Sep 15, 2009 Deborah rated it it was amazing
"Dear Whale,
I'm not sure if you exist, but I'm inviting you to my party anyway. Tomorrow, on the beach. If you exist, will you come?
The Seagull"

Poetically strange, delicate, delightful. Animals, dressing up, presents, and plenty of delicious cake - THE SQUIRREL'S BIRTHDAY AND OTHER PARTIES.
Joan Gagan
Mar 15, 2010 Joan Gagan rated it did not like it
I was rather disappointed with this book. It reads simply and is very cute in its simplicity, but the plots of the stories are just plain odd. The first story about Squirrel's birthday goes on and on for nearly 70 pages and he never opens the presents. The next couple of stories end abruptly.
Vicki Riddiough
Dec 21, 2014 Vicki Riddiough rated it really liked it
A bit different than A Great And Complicated Adventure but I thought the stories made a little more sense; they are much longer, so not as ideal to get through an entire story before bedtime but my 8 yr old loved it, regardless.
Jun 13, 2013 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-book
i liked it. It definitely had the feel of another culture. The author is Dutch and it came from bedtime stories he told his children. It felt a little odd, but mostly gentle and quirky and different. I enjoyed his descriptions very much. I'm glad I read it.
Mar 17, 2010 Amanda rated it liked it
Recommended to Amanda by: Allison
This came so highly recommended, I think my expectations were a bit too high. It's enjoyable, and would make a very good read aloud for certain three- and four-year olds. As I read, I kept thinking to myself, "This is SO not American."

The best story is definitely The Costume Party.
Jul 12, 2011 Christiane rated it it was ok
I really liked the illustrations, not the stories so much. This would be nice as a sweet, quiet read aloud. But if parents asked me for recommendations of animal stories I would choose The Wind in the Willows, the Pooh stories, or the Freddy the Pig series first.
Feb 18, 2010 Susie rated it liked it
Shelves: children
Apparently these books are very popular in Europe, so I checked this one out when it arrived at my library, hoping it would be like The Little Prince or Winnie-the-Pooh. While the illustrations were wonderfully whimsical, I’m afraid I thought most of the stories were kind of weird and nonsensical.
May 25, 2012 Heidi rated it really liked it
A sweet, fun, read that I found myself laughing out loud at and sharing with my husband. Would be a fun read-along that is likely more entertaining to the adult than child; the stories have some profound moments of humanity. The illustrations were perfect.
Feb 28, 2011 Karen rated it really liked it
Another sweet book from Tellegen- I can't wait to get the third. It is very similar to the Winnie the Pooh stories, as some reviewers have said, but they remind me more of James Stevenson's Mud Flat books.
Oct 19, 2010 SarahC rated it really liked it
Beautiful, poetic children's stories about parties and simple moments. It presents some timeless thoughts that are quite deep in the typical children's lit world. Very nice find and was a nice read-aloud with my son.
Jul 10, 2010 Pinky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-10
I love these animal books by Toon Tellegen. They are so sweet and dreamy. Like literary strawberry ice cream. I am putting this one in the number one spot over Letters to Anyone and Everyone, because of all the parties. The sheer number of fantasy cakes is staggering. Favorite book this year.
Sep 12, 2012 Charlotte rated it it was amazing
this book is so cute! it Is a must read! my sister gave me this for Christmas (and frankly this the kind of present she would give!) but I read it and it was so funny! if you like happy funny and cute story's this your book!
Jun 27, 2011 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: chi-fantasy, chi-j-e
Cute, good for younger Wind in the Willow for a younger set. Sweet. 1-4th grade
Shubham Tripathi
Jul 15, 2013 Shubham Tripathi rated it really liked it
Hapy birth day sqerrel
Sep 12, 2009 Joan rated it it was ok
Odd, sometimes charming, sometimes disappointng stories from "one of Netherland's most celebrated writers." For ages 7-10, I think
Dec 12, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing
this is one of the rare children's books that is a really great read for the adult as well. the stories are incredibly sweet, with unexpected and whimsical details and emotional complexity.
Aug 19, 2016 Griflet rated it really liked it
Loved this - must get the others that have been translated.
The world needs lots more sweet gentleness like this.
Ashley Showalter
Feb 28, 2013 Ashley Showalter rated it really liked it
Another excellent little book from this author, but I was a bit more enchanted by Letters to Anyone and Everyone.
Christian McKay
Sep 21, 2010 Christian McKay rated it it was amazing
The quieter, less daring counterpart to "Letters for Anyone and Everyone." Still as delightful though.
Jul 23, 2012 Anjelica rated it it was amazing
so so sweet and the illustrations are lovely.
Nov 21, 2014 Erin rated it really liked it
Charming little book - Adorable illustrations - good recommendation for youngster read-aloud.
Mar 19, 2010 Katherine rated it liked it
Squirrel's birthday party is fun and whimsical. The short stories are darling. I love the illustrations.
Published in Holland in 1995, translated into English in 2009.
May 16, 2011 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Charming!!! I am a big fan of squirrels. This little reader was just right.
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