“Lawrence has created a wonderful community of animals that live in Stanley Park, Vancouver. After a close encounter with people and pets, Sammy Squirrel and Rodney Raccoon decide they are going to leave the safety of the park and set off on an adventure. Their adventure removes them far from the safety of their community; the novel follows them as they head out into the ocean, and eventually end up in Japan. Along the way they are helped by many different animal friends, including Winifred Whale, Penelope Pigeon and Judy Crow.
Young readers will enjoy the gentle fictional world that Duane Lawrence has created in this short novel. The novel is well-paced for younger readers, and the clear text is interspersed with lively black and white illustrations. The short chapters are ideal for readers embarking on their first chapter book, but all students with an interest in wildlife or environmental issues will enjoy this novel. The story also works well as a read-aloud, particularly when introducing a unit with environmental or community themes to a class.”
Taken from: Resource Links Magazine – Volume 13, #4.
Written by: Claire Hazzard
“Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon-To The Rescue” is the second Stanley Park story written as a starter chapter novel for young readers ages 7 -12. Sammy Squirrel and Rodney Raccoon are worried about their friend Judy Crow, who has gone missing from the park. The two book-loving friends bravely embark on an adventurous trek to rescue their crow-napped friend, which ends up taking them to a large city, Vancouver Short, action packed, descriptively rich chapters punctuated by charming, detailed black and white ilustrations keep reader interest high and make “Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon-To The Rescue” an ideal beginning chapter book read, especially for adventurous nature lovers in Vancouver, Sammy and Rodney face many challenges and find unexpected help from new friends. Mortimer Mole and Fernando Fox After many twists and turns, the friends rescue Judy Crow, and all ends wel back at Stanley Park. There are many delicious lite touches of humourous detailsuch as the two friends chatty coffee at the Argyle Cafe, where they order hazelnut coffee and politeclam chowder “Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon – To The Rescue” is a delightful appealing book filled with real, quirky characters and sold friendship values which can be read aloud to children quite successfully
Midwest Book Review, Oregon, W, USA
“I loved Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon- this witty novel about the escapades of two adventurous animals from Stanley Park works just as well for adults as it does for kids. Over the past few years we have sold several hundred copies and it’s consistently one of our best selling children’s titles.”
Manager, Blackberry Books on Granville Island in Vancouver
Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon – To The Rescue
76 pages/ Ages 7 to 10
In this second Stanley Park adventure, Sammy Squirrel and his best pal Rodney Raccoon embark on a trek to the thriving city of Vancouver in search of their neighbour and friend, Judy Crow. Judy was last seen being carried out of the park by two other large crows, and the other Stanley Park animals fear that she has been “crow-napped.” Sammy and Rodney follow clues that lead them to the historic Sylvia Hotel in greater Vancouver – a city that up to now they have been very curious about, but which seemed an impossible feat to reach. Along the way the two friends encounter several other neighbours, such as Renee Rabbit and Squirty Skunk. In addition, they meet and befriend several new characters who help to bring home the uplifting message of the value of kindness and sensitivity to others.
Hidden behind the Sylvia Hotel, Sammy and Rodney discover the underground Animal Inn, run by the very helpful Fernando Fox. They rent a room, and then seek out to explore the corridors with the hope of finding Judy. The further they delve into the maze of tunnels, the more adventure and danger they encounter, until they are finally able to rescue their friend. Their escapades are not over yet, however, as they still have to make it all the way back home to their beloved Stanley Park!
This beginning chapter book, featuring beautifully done pencil drawings by Gordon Clover, is an absolute treasure. The woodland creatures are brought to life in such a heartwarming and genuine way, they are irresistible. With any luck, another witty story featuring the courageous Sammy and Rodney is in the works, since this is definitely one that readers could quite likely cherish forever! Highly recommended for children aged 7 – 10 or anyone who is young at heart!
Taken from: Resource Links Magazine – Volume 17 – #1
Written by: Nicole Rowlinson