The Secret Life of Squirrels

February 11, 2018

For a "secret" life, you have to admit it's pretty mundane.


I was looking forward to this book. I think maybe I was expecting too much out of it. It's a bunch of pictures of a squirrel posed around various objects and sets in the author-photographer's backyard. It would work really well as an Instagram or Tumblr, but it's kind of strange as a children's book. There's not much to the text; the pictures drive it. But the text could be more, I think. Maybe if the photographer worked with an author or writer she could do a lot with this.

Basically, the main character is a squirrel named Mr. Peanuts. It just talks about various things that he likes to do, like reading and grilling on this tiny grill. Then he feels lonely, so he mails a letter to his cousin. He cleans up the house and then his cousin finally arrives and they have fun together. That's pretty much it. After the end of the story, there's a cool list of tips for photographing wildlife and a question-and-answer thing, "How did you get these pictures?" and things like that.

It's definitely a unique book. You don't see a lot of pictures of live animals in different poses. This is the kind of thing that would normally be illustrated, but she took pictures and made a story out of what she could make pictures of. I really think that she would benefit from collaborating with somebody who could write well and come up with ideas for her to do. The photographs are great but the story leaves something to be desired. The end notes are what improves the rating for me.


Everything's better with a friend.

Publication Year
  • 2014
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