Nuts to You

Nuts to You

by Lynne Rae Perkins

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How far would you go for a friend? In Nuts to You, the funny and moving illustrated novel by Newbery Medalist Lynne Rae Perkins, two squirrels go very far indeed to save a friend who has been snatched up by a hawk. Nuts to You “begs to be read aloud . . . another completely original and exceptional package from Perkins,” said the Horn Book. Nuts to You features black-and-white art by the author on every page, as well as exclusive material original to this edition.

Jed, TsTs, and Chai are the very best of friends. So when Jed is snatched up by a hawk and carried away to another realm, TsTs and Chai resolve to go after him. Mysteriously, the hawk has dropped him. They saw it. Jed could be alive. New communities are discovered, new friends are made, huge danger is encountered (both man-made and of the fox and bobcat variety) and the mysteries of squirrel culture are revealed. Nuts to You is wholly original, funny, lively, and thought-provoking. Publishers Weekly said, “Readers . . . will relish the squirrels’ adventures, as well as Perkins’s laugh-aloud illustrations and equally witty footnotes.”

Includes an introduction, epilogue, and footnotes throughout, as well as original exclusive material from the author.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

★ 07/07/2014
Newberry Medalist Perkins (Criss Cross) writes a clever, off-kilter story of community support in this tall tale featuring three courageous squirrels. A crisis occurs when gray squirrel Jed is swept up by a hawk. Jed’s friends Chai and TsTs (it’s “the ‘Emma’ of squirrel names,” Perkins explains) rush to find where he’s (safely) landed, but they’re soon distracted by impending danger: humans trimming trees around “buzzpaths” (power lines) pose a threat to their habitat. Somehow, TsTs, Chai, and Jed (who eventually meets up with his pals after having a few adventures of his own) must persuade their friends and neighbors to relocate somewhere safer, not an easy task given the nature of squirrels (“Getting squirrels to listen to reason is like getting a tree to drop its nuts at your front door,” admits one). Perkins’s twisting-turning narrative provides plenty of fun; along with their impulsiveness, her characters have warm hearts and generous spirits. Readers, especially animal lovers and the environmentally minded, will relish the squirrels’ adventures, as well as Perkins’s laugh-aloud illustrations (not all seen by PW) and equally witty footnotes. Ages 8–12. (Aug.)

Horn Book (starred review)

Perkins uses language like the best toy ever. …The book begs to be read aloud, except that you’d miss the wacky digressions, the goofy footnotes, and the black-and-white illustrations with their built-in micro-plots. Another completely original and exceptional package from Perkins.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Thoughtful, and amusing . . . Hand this lively tale to both the nature-loving kids and the animal fantasy lovers.

Toronto Star

Safe, accessible and laced with gentle philosophizing, this has an edge of poetry that gives it colourful tone and texture.

Booklist (starred review)

A lovely and insightful creation.

Montreal Gazette

The gripping tale of . . . squirrels who embrace adventure in order to rescue one of their own. . . . Generously illustrated with the author’s black-and-white drawings, this is a lively story filled with humour and surprising bits of wisdom.


An amazing adventure story full of humor, desperation and hope, executed perfectly. . . . A perfect read for kids 5 to 15.

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Thoughtful, and amusing . . . Hand this lively tale to both the nature-loving kids and the animal fantasy lovers.

School Library Journal

★ 07/01/2014
Gr 3–6—As explained in an Author's Note at the start, Perkins was told this tale by a talking squirrel whom she met while enjoying a peanut butter sandwich on a park bench. When a squirrel is captured by a hawk and flown off to an uncertain fate, two of his friends set off in pursuit. Partway through their rescue mission, they encounter humans who are trimming trees which have grown around the power lines (the squirrels call these "buzzpaths"). Now they must not only bring their friend home, but also warn all the squirrels in the vicinity to flee from the impending depredation of swaths of their forest. Part of the tension and humor stems from the ways in which the motivations of humans and squirrels are inexplicable to each other. Perkins elucidates delightfully, as when she tells readers that "'TsTs' is currently the most frequently given girl squirrel name, the 'Emma' of squirrel names." This is a small story made larger by the ways readers can enjoy Perkins's whimsical conception of squirrel civilization. Some deeper themes may prompt readers to question their interactions with the natural world. The author's light touch is maintained by her profuse spot and full-page illustrations throughout.—Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NY

Kirkus Reviews

The gray squirrel Jed's human acquaintance relates this entertaining story of friendship and adventure, beginning with Jed's narrow escape from a hawk and then continuing with a series of tail-raising escapades.An introductory author's note and endnote frame the story as a tale told by the squirrel to the writer. After the hawk snatches Jed, most of his squirrel community gathers for a memorial service. However, his friends TsTs and Chai, sure Jed is alive, bravely follow a trail of "buzzpaths" and "frozen spiderwebs"—utility lines and towers—to find him. The narrator frequently weaves tidbits of natural science, ecology and philosophy, as well as notes about human behavior, into each short, action-packed chapter. Humorous footnotes and direct addresses add to the fun, as in: "To squirrels, ‘Are you nuts?' is a combination of ‘Have you lost your mind?' and ‘You remind me of the most wonderful thing I can think of.' " Adult readers will recognize traces of Watership Down, Beatrix Potter and even the work of cartoonist Gary Larson, but who knew until this book that red squirrels speak with cockney accents? (Or, more realistically, that squirrel homes are called "dreys"?) Strong characterizations carry readers through the episodic adventure. With its unswerving inclusion of predators, habitat destruction and territorial conflict, this novel could have grown dark; instead, it is funny and exuberant. (Fantasy. 7-11)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062262202
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication date: 08/26/2014
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,026,956
Lexile: 560L (what's this?)
File size: 7 MB
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

Customer Reviews