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Gooseberry Park

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  974 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
The touching story of an unusual friendship, from one of today's most masterful children's book writers. Now repackaged with an updated look and feel.

You could call it unusual. Strange in fact. Most dogs chase squirrels. But not Kona. He's friends with a squirrel. A squirrel named Stumpy. Kona thinks Stumpy's the best thing since chocolate doggie treats.

So when a dangerous
Paperback, 144 pages
Published December 1st 1998 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published October 13th 1995)
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Community Reviews

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Rating details
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Sep 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Anne Price
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a good read-aloud for young children.
Kathryn (Nine Pages)
Jul 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Kathryn (Nine Pages) by: Nutmeg Book Award nominee
Shelves: novels
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
Oct 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finish
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Traci Magee
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
LOVED!! The perfect children's chapter book!!
Sep 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
A great read aloud for my 2nd grade class!
Rachel Turner
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read Gooseberry Park in the second grade. Gooseberry park is about a dog, a squirrel and her babies, a hermit crab, and a crazy bat. When Stumpy the squirrel is evicted from her tree she finds solace and a home with these friends of hers. This book gives you the inside look at the lives you always imagined the creatures in your local park as having. It also personifies the animals living in your very house and is captivating for young minds.
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Meh. This was a pretty cute little adventure story starring a lab, a bat, and a squirrel. It was pretty OK, but not my favorite kids book. It would be great for a parent to read aloud to their eight-year-old child. But, overall, I feel that there are much better books for kids this age – and this book didn’t really have anything particularly special to make it stand out.
Stacie Zacks
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love Loveeedd this book. I am a teacher and read it with my students. It kept us laughing and engaged the entire book.

Cynthia Rylant did a fantastic job with the different characters. Each one was unique and different.

I highlight recommend this book!!

LOVE MURRAY!!!!!!! 💕
Beverly Zearley
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book showing how friends can make a difference in your life.
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-read-aloud
I read this with my five and seven-year-old. It was a fun and funny adventure that delighted all of us.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anneke, linnea
Very cute. Made a fun read-aloud for a 3- and 5-year-old, lightly edited for cultural references that they would never recognize :-) Kept us reading several chapters at a sitting.
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Charming story. Fun and easy read a loud for my girls. Delightful plot and conclusion.
A charming book about a dog who goes to the park every day with his owner and forms a strong friendship with a squirrel. The squirrel shares a tree with a bat with a funny sense of humor. When a freezing rainstorm hits, the squirrel and her new babies are separated from each other. Kona and the bat team up to find the little lost squirrel. The bat has many funny lines and the reader will enjoy Kona's determination.
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Friendship, loyalty, and humor abound.

Kona is a chocolate Labrador who belongs to Professor Albert, along with a wise hermit crab named Gwendolyn. One day, on a walk in Gooseberry Park with the professor, Kona meets a young squirrel named Stumpy. Rather than chase her or bark at her, something strange happens--the two become friends. By extension, Gwendolyn becomes friends with Stumpy too, because Kona tells them about each other.

When Stumpy is ready to have babies, Kona is super excited (Gwendo
Kelby Harward
This is a book about a god names Kona who is friends with a red squirrel named Stumpy. Stumpy lives in Gooseberry Park and she collects things. Later a she has 3 kids and a huge snow storm came and it knocked down the tree. stumpy went missing while murry and kona helped the babies. They thought of an idea to find her ans they put a glow in the dark watch on the roof and it attracted her and she got a new nest and they all were friends again.

My theme is Murry. Murry is a bat who loves chines foo
Nov 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
Awesome read aloud for my kindergartener!
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: slib-520
ISBN-13: 9780152061593
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 8/1/2007
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 84,648
Age range: 8 - 12 Years
Lexile: 780L

Modern Fantasy entry

Gooseberry Park is a story of friendship, bravery, perseverance, and loyalty. An unlikely group of friends bond together to take care of new born squirrel babies and find their lost mother. Kona is a chocolate Labrador that lives with Professor Albert and Gwendolyn the "worldly" hermit crab. Kona befrie
Mar 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kiddos, read-aloud
This was a cute story that took us months to read, for some reason. The characters were well drawn (and fun to do different voices for). We like Rylant's shorter books (Mr. Putter & Tabby, Henry & Mudge), so we decided to give this a try. My 8.5 year old gave it 3.5 stars. When we got about 3/4s of the way through the book, he asked, "Is this WHOLE book about finding Stumpy?" And I had to say yes. So, I think he wouldn't have liked a little bit more action or possibly variety or somethin ...more
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book many times over the course of my childhood and it's stayed with me as a lovely, warm memory my whole life. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten the title of this book and was unable to find it for ages. So pleased to be able to point at it now and say, yes, that book, that book was wonderful!

I'm not totally sure what I found so appealing about it, especially considering I often can't get into talking animal/pet stories (this book joins such other notable exceptions like Narnia and Redwa
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Madelynn White
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It's been forever since I've read this book, but I know if I were to pick it up today I'd love it as much as I did when I read it countless times as a kid. After everything I've read since, this still remains one of my all time favorite books. (I know this wasn't really a helpful review, but I hope its continued impact on me will encourage you to read it or share it with you kids, grandkids, cousins, etc.)
Nancy Kotkin
Feels odd to me that the dog, who fashions himself a hero, doesn't even attempt to look for his squirrel friend after the ice storm; instead, he waits for her to find him, though he does formulate a plan to help her locate him. I'm not sure this chapter book has enough action to maintain children's interest, though animal enthusiasts might like this story. Published in 1995, there are some dated references to obsolete technology and old television programs.
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, kid-lit, alice
Alice and I just finished this book. I feel like it was a little bit over her almost 6 year old head. She seemed to enjoy it but I just don't think she was as engaged as Stuart Little. I asked her which she liked more and she said Gooseberry Park, but I think she likes the last book read. I enjoyed it. I liked how all the friends worked together to find Stumpy. I also like how they all took care of one another and became a family even though they were all different animals.
Feb 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Kalla [A Bookish Nerd]
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: love-love-love
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.
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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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