Speedy the Squirrel is a good-hearted, rhyming picture book starring a determined and plucky little squirrel who dreams of flying like a bird. When friends and family laugh at his dreams, Speedy refuses to give up. His faith in himself is rewarded.
The spunky and curious Speedy was born in a tree with a great seaside view and a lovely green forest behind him. One day, he is watching the seagulls from his perch high above the beach when “deep in his heart/ something started to swell/ — a longing so great/ that he just had to tell.” Speedy is suddenly overcome with a profound desire to fly, but when he shares his longing with his father, his father calls Speedy’s dream “absurd.”
Determined, Speedy soldiers on, trying to figure out how to make his dream a reality.
Speedy is one creative squirrel: he devises a plan to grow wings from his sides and spends years executing his vision. He doesn’t give up and stays faithful to his crazy ideas. Then, one year on his birthday, Speedy’s dream comes true. To the amazement of the other squirrels in the forest, Speedy flies!
The message of Sharon Smith’s picture book is timeless and inspirational: good and surprising things happen when you stay true to your heart and follow your dreams wherever they take you. Marvin Alonso’s illustrations are bright and active, but the squirrels require a few additional distinguishing visual characteristics to help children tell them apart. More problematic is the possibility of encouraging little kids to jump out of trees by showing Speedy’s wish coming true. Children are great dreamers, and this is a real concern.
In sum, while the book’s catchy rhythm makes for a breezy read, parents should take caution when it comes to the message of this book.
Also available as an ebook.