Meet Mr. Peanuts. Right from the beginning we are advised that “He is a rather unusual squirrrel.” He cooks and cleans, he reads books and plays the piano. And every now and then, he feels lonely. So this plucky squirrel sends a letter to his cousin to invite him for a visit. When cousin squirrel arrives, the two creatures happily enjoy each other’s company. They play chess and have picnics. They build campfires and tell stories. And Mr. Peanuts ultimately concludes that “having a friend makes everything twice as fun.”
Of course, what makes Mr. Peanuts so unusual – and this book so utterly endearing – are the illustrations, which are, in fact, photographs. The entire book consists of photographs of a very inquisitive squirrel interacting with a variety of handmade objects: miniature bookcases, barbecues, bathtubs and assorted other homey surroundings. Readers of all ages will be fascinated by the carefully-crafted props, and will marvel at the many expressive poses that Nancy Rose has managed to capture. Her patience as a photographer (and attention to detail in the crafting of Mr. Peanuts’ tiny world) have paid off in this charming and delightful book.
The Secret Life of Squirrels
by Nancy Rose
$19.99, paperback, 32 pp.
Penguin Canada, October 2014