- Book Style: Storybook for toddlers and children
- Reading Level: 2 (Read with Help due to: some mid-level vocabulary)
- Reading Length: 5-7 minutes (FYI – we never account for toddler questions)
- Illustration: Bright, fun, cute
- Age Target: Toddler to Child – 3-6 Years
Cyril Squirrel and The Long Run Home is a great little storybook by Melinda Kinsman. She’s produced this story for toddlers and children in the three to six years of age range. The story itself is about a brother and a sister who have to go out and get acorns for their mother. What we find out is there are a lot of predators out in the world; they run into quite a few of them. Cyril and his sister Beth have a few close calls, but in the end they make it home safely. They then get to eat with their family and decide to keep their adventure secret.
I love that the story is told from the perspectives of these panicked little squirrels. I noticed how much my toddler enjoyed the fact that the two squirrels acted like real squirrels. They were jumpy, fast as could be, excellent at evasion, and even a little forgetful (when they were in a panic). We even see Cyril running home and forgetting about his sister and their friend, Molly (the mouse you see below).
Probably my favorite thing about this book is the rhyming and rhythm employed by our author. Melinda ensures just about every page has a (near) perfect rhyme (by the way, it’s only near perfect because of a few restrictions on Amazon…). I love the rhyming and the way it brings the whole reading experience together. I’m sure as a parent, you know it helps you to maintain cadence while reading, and in turn it helps your child to retain information and learnings. For me, this is one of the things that sets any book apart when we’re talking about the toddler age category.
A little about the illustrations…this is one cute book. The illustrations are both cute and interesting, as the squirrels are simply drawn. What’s strange is that despite the simplicity of the characters, they’re very interesting. I’m instantly drawn to the faces of the squirrels and most of the characters in the book. They’re also very carefully posed characters. Have a look at the picture below. Each characters’ face expresses how they’re feeling extremely well. It’s a great style that works perfectly with these characters and this story. You wouldn’t want a complicated squirrel, would you?
There are a few puzzles and games at the back of the book. There’s also a challenge at the start to find the green leaf on each page. These little extras help books like this remain in the front of your child’s mind and have them asking again and again to read the book. My little guy kept pointing out the green leaf, even as I read each page. There’s also a great deal of content relating to the many other books that Melinda Kinsmen has produced. If you want some more details or some free printable content, Melinda has her own website about her children’s books here.
Speaking of Melinda’s series of books…she has a lot of them. Most of them tie together through her many characters and all of them are fun, cute, and provide some educational value as well. Her books are all really well priced, as the Kindle Editions tend to be under $1 USD. There are also paperback copies at the reasonable price of $7.99 USD.
In case you haven’t already run off to Amazon and bought some of Melinda’s books…here’s a link:
Thanks for reading,