Squirrelly Gray

Kochalka, James


Random House Children’s Books, New York. 2007. 40 p.


So apparently I’m not only on a graphic novel/picture book kick, I’m on a James Kochalka one as well. But what can I say? He writes and illustrates amazing books that are meant for kids but appeal just as much to adults.


Little Squirrelly Gray’s story is no different. He lives in his tree and is bored out of his mind because he only has a TV to keep him occupied. His life is dull, drab, and simply put, gray. One day he decides to try and humor himself by wiggling his teeth. He wiggles them so much they pop out, so he does the logical thing and waits for the tooth fairy to come and pick the teeth up. To him, this will surely be the event that makes his life a little more exciting.


Well, he’s right. The poor Tooth Fairy gets herself in a predicament on her way to Squirrelly Gray’s, and he has to save her. Because of his bravery, the Tooth Fairy rewards Squirrely Gray with a very special acorn. The story goes on from there with Squirrelly changing his life and the world around him. Pretty big stuff for a little squirrel and an acorn!


Unlike Kochalka’s other books, this one is a true picture book and is written in short rhyme. But like his other books, this one has vivid and simple illustrations that convey the message without getting too cluttered or complicated. Kochalka proves you can tell a wonderfully rich story with very little fluff. Except for Squirrely Gray, of course… he’s a little fluffly.