Scruffle-Nut

by Corinne Fenton

illustrated by Owen Swan

reviewed by Mia Macrossan

The story starts quietly  with a memory as winter leaves tumble and twirl in the park.

Sitting on a bench in Central Park grown-up Olivia notices a squirrel which immediately takes her back to another time when she was a young girl and noticed a shy squirrel with a stumpy tail being bullied by the other squirrels.

Over the next couple of days the young Olivia befriends Scruffle-Nut as she has named him and gives him crumbs from her pocket. She watches as each time he cleverly manages to elude the Bully-Bunch, the boisterous group of other squirrels who also struggle for the food.

There are echoes here of what is happening in her own life. Winter days and weeks drift by as Olivia  stays inside as  Nanny says it is too cold to go to the park.

Will Olivia ever see Scruffle-Nut again?

This gentle simple story about a significant moment in a young girl’s life has an underlying message about human behaviours and the power of memory perfectly complemented by the soft tones of Owen Swan’s carefully observed illustrations.

New Frontier 2019 Picture Book Hardback $24.99 Age 3 – 6 ISBN : 978-1-925594-76-8

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