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The Busy Little Squirrel

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,095 ratings  ·  135 reviews
The leaves have started to fall. The air is cold. Squirrel needs to get ready for winter. He cannot nibble with the mice. He does not have time to hop with the frogs or run with the dogs. But there is one thing he can do!
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 28th 2007 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,095 ratings  ·  135 reviews

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Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
Wonderful read aloud describing the doings of a busy squirrel, good tie in for the changing of seasons, hibernation and animal interactions in the natural environment. Appropriate for k to 2nd grade.
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Anything by Nancy Tafuri is delightful.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
It was dull. On top of it it just kept saying the same thing without variation so even an early reader will memorize and get bored pretty quick. The pictures are pretty but nothing special. Also, I'm willing to suspend reality for a quality story, but with so little else to offer, I can't. Owls, cats, dogs, etc would kill and maybe eat the squirrel, not be cool about hanging out with it.
Shayna R.
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
Cute concept, but the repetition goes on a bit too long. It would be nice if there was a little more variation in the wording used, or the punctuation to encourage reading it differently. I used this for a storytime, and although it worked out alright, I had to be a bit inventive with it to make it more exciting.
Great for toddler storytime. This is about a squirrel who cannot hang out with the other animals because he is too busy storing food for the winter. You can make animal noises as you meet each animal, and it has repetitive lines to get kids joining in. Works well with the "Gray Squirrel" song or puppet.
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The illustrations were cute and detailed. I just thought the story was a little too repetitive. I would have like some variation in what the squirrel was doing, even if all he was doing was collecting food.
Tim Johnson
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
Totally unrealistic that a squirrel would have dogs and cats for friends. You can't even say the word "squirrel" around my dogs. They freak out. Sometimes I do it randomly when I want to distract them away from the front door. It doesn't work quite as well as the laser pointer though.
Sep 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
Love the illustrations. Great for a fall themed story-time.
Sep 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-library
Love the illustrations. My daughter loved this book. A great autumn/fall type.
Apr 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
Nice bright simple pictures and a simple story. A+!
Oct 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Short story, but good for kindergarten/preschool students. The refrain is excellent for reading together.
Sarah Kramer
Nov 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: toddlers
Shelves: storytime-books
Beautiful illustrations.
Sep 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The repeated phrase "He was so busy!" is a great way for children to become involved in telling the story. Watch out for the surprise ending!
Kristina Jean Lareau
Busy little squirrel is a great story time time and an easy read aloud! A classic author.
Oct 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
fun book Tate will join in on with the repeative parts.
Alicia Evans
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Squirrel is busy getting ready for the winter, no matter what all the other animals ask of him! This is a good one for discussions of Fall or harvest season with lots of vocabulary to bring up to the young readers.

For: readers wanting a good Fall story.

Possible red flags: Squirrel is a hard worker but his constant energy could be stressful to some readers.
Taylor Tomb
There is nothing wrong with this book but I did not get the point of it. Maybe it was just an informative book on how squirrels prepare for winter. I was not really the biggest fan of the book because I like when books how meaning and I do not think this one did.
Jessica Mowery
I was very confused as to why this book received the Colorin Colorado until I researched it a little more. I found that this book comes in many different languages which makes it very diverse. This book is great for young children because of the short sentences and the repetition of lines. The book tells a story of a squirrel getting ready for winter and hibernating. Many animals ask him to join them in some activity but he can't because he "is too busy" until he finally falls asleep for hiberna ...more
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
The kids loved shouting out, "He was so busy!" during story time.
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fun book to read aloud, went over well with two-year olds and parents. Some of the older two year olds were able to anticipate that the squirrel would be soooo busy, which is pretty unusual. There aren't that many books that are fun for two-year olds and me.
Baby Bookworm
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Fall Festivities Week, Day 3: Hello, everyone! Today’s book is The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri, the story of, well, a busy little squirrel!

As the fall colors come in and the leaves begin to fall from the trees, the busy little squirrel has lots to do! While his animal friends invite him to join them in their fall activities, such as basking in the sun’s rays with the cats or nibbling o
Dec 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
When the leaves begin falling off the trees the squirrels get busy but the other little creatures coax squirrel to play with them (much like in The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle).

The mice, the birds, the frogs, the cat, the dog, and the owl each invite squirrel to nibble, to rest, to hop, to nap, to run, or to watch with them.

While going through the story I ask the children to identify what the squirrel is collecting -- an apple, seeds, berries, nuts, and corn.

This is called "Dialogic Reading",
My almost-four-year-old and I went to the library today to see a play, and afterwards everyone was able to pick out a free book to take home and keep. My son chose this one, which made me happy because I've enjoyed most of the Nancy Tafuri books we've checked out of the library over the years but I don't think we owned any prior to now. Her illustrations are so sweet, and this book really captures the fall season perfectly.
I will say that I think my son is in some ways getting a bit too old now
Katie Fitzgerald
Nov 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Read at Baby/Toddler Story Time on 11/8/11:

Read at Baby/Toddler Story Time on 8/21/12:

Read during preschool class visit on 9/19/12:

Read at Toddler Lap Time on 10/12/12:

Read during preschool class visit on 11/2/12:

Read at Moms Club Story Time on 10/9/14:
Jun 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Busy Little Squirrel is a well paced children's picture book about a squirrel preparing for the winter, and the fun he must turn down in order to complete his task.

Throughout the book, squirrel turns down invitations from mice, frogs, dogs, cats, and owls to have fun. Instead, he must 'squirrel' away food for the winter. In addition to being a fun read for children (who themselves always seem to be 'busy'), there is a lesson to be learned about hard work and perseverence - as well as animals
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
Excellent choice for fall reading with toddlers and preschoolers. The repetitive text is great for kindergarteners and early readers. The colored pencil and watercolor illustrations are simple, engaging, playful and realistic.

As squirrel gets ready for winter, he encounters many friends (mouse, cat, bird, dog...) who invite squirrel to play with them. But squirrel can't; he is so busy! This story reads nearly identical to "The Very Busy Spider" by Eric Carle.

My 2 1/2 year old loved this story.
Shauna Masura
Squirrel is so busy getting ready for winter and collecting food for hibernation that he can't spend time with all his field animal friends. The book employs a predictable story pattern that is easy for young children to follow- a friend asks Squirrel to play and Squirrel says that he's too busy- and the content of the book serves as a good introduction for students learning about seasons, animal, or even issues of responsibility. With illustrations of watercolor pencils and ink, Nancy Tafuri ha ...more
Nov 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Squirrel requests and parents and caregivers of young children
Recommended to June by: Polly
Very well received by a pre-school group. 9/27/12

I think I might like this better than Nuts to You!. Used it for a Kindergarten visit and talked about similarities to The Very Busy Spider. Used in Baby/Toddler Lap Time and it also went over well. (Always play Grey Squirrel on Sing It, Stamp It, Say It and shake our tails, or shakers.) 9/25/13

Used with Kindergarten classes and Lap Time.
The Brothers
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a average, nothing-too-special-or-new book about a squirrel getting ready for winter by gathering food before hibernation sets in. Throughout his endeavors, other animals ask him to join them in their activities. He can't because he is too busy.

After reading this a couple of times, I realized what was nagging me about this story and why it seemed so familiar. Just replace the squirrel with a spider and the author with Eric Carle and you've got The Very Busy Spider book.

Illustrations ar
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Nancy Tafuri is probably best known as the creator of Have You Seen My Duckling?, a 1985 Caldecott Honor Book described by Parent’s Choice as “beautifully precise yet emotionally affecting.” Trained as a graphic designer, Tafuri has authored more than 45 books over 30 years for the very young.

When Tafuri first attempted picture book illustration in the late 1970’s picture books were aimed at five-