All is calm in old man Fookwire’s yard until new neighbors—Little Old Lady Hu and her cat, Muffins—move in next door. Muffins is one mean dude! He terrorizes the birds, interrupts Fookwire’s painting, and ties the squirrels’ tails together. Fookwire is upset, but not nearly as upset as the squirrels, who devise an ingenious plan to stop Muffins cold. In this hilarious follow-up to Those Darn Squirrels!, the tongue-in-cheek text is perfectly complemented by the quirky, inventive illustrations.
Having already proved they're ideally matched in their debut, Those Darn Squirrels! (2008), Rubin and Salmieri go for two and succeed. This time, Mr. Fookwire, his beloved backyard birds, and his relentlessly clever squirrel frenemies are united against a new neighbor and common enemy: a corpulent, take-no-prisoners cat named Muffins, whose idea of fun is giving the squirrels noogies, wet willies, and wedgies and the last, readers are reminded, is "not an easy thing to do, because generally squirrels do not wear underpants." But before Muffins can show what he has in mind for the birds (who seem utterly clueless despite their curvilinear grace), the squirrels summon their ingenuity (their idea of brain food is cheese puffs and ginger ale) and concoct a revenge scheme that has Muffins retreating indoors permanently, thus insinuating themselves into Mr. Fookwire's grumpy affections once more. Rubin's sly ironies and Salmieri's spare but deeply goofy aesthetic is child-friendly urbanity at its best. And those squirrels! Impish, beady-eyed, and never individuated, they steal the spotlight in every scene. Ages 5 8.
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Read to my daughter and she thought it was so funny. Loved it!