Thursday, February 14, 2013

Not Just Another Review: Guest Reviewer Emilia!

Dart and the Squirrels
A Special Request by Alex Weis' Baby Critters

By Nicole Izmaylov

All of you know that I normally only invite cat stars
to visit Book Readers Heaven; but I got a special
request to feature this book during Alexandrea Weis' spotlight, which has included many of her critters.

What I'd like to know is how these three even knew
I had this book on my TBR list! Methinks those noises from my attic might not have been from either cats or coons!

In any event, I just knew Nicole and Michelle Ismaylov wouldn't mind since the book in question is written in the same style! Say what?! Yes, Dart and the Squirrels is Dart and he does a wonderful job...but since the requesters were, you know, of the squirrel family...and since I saw that the least talkative in the book was Emilia, I figured she'd have a good handle on telling my readers about their book! Welcome Emilia!
I get Boy’s shoes. They’re black, in compliance
 with the school dress code. Yeesh.
Not only do humans wear clothing,
they even have whole rule books that tell them how
 to wear the clothing. And I thought I had problems.
So I bring over my leash and Boy’s shoes. I nudge him.
Boy glances down at me. He laughs.
“You want to come with me to Show and Tell, Dart?”
Boy says, giggling. “It’s all right, Dart.
You’ll be able to rest today.” Oh, sure.
Like you’ll be able to find your way around the school
 without me. He scratches me behind the ear.
“Babe and I fought over it, but I won.” Fought over what?
 “See, I’m taking Emilia.”
What?! “
‘Cause everyone has a dog.
But no one has a squirrel.”

Oh! Hello down there! I was so happy to see that you live in the woods with all these beautiful trees that I just had to come up and see your cabin from my normal point of view, shall we say?

And I'm so happy to hear about the special request for us to come at this time! Yoo! Hoo! Boys...

Well, Hi Emilia...glad to see you made yourself comfortable! Since you live in a house now, I'm happy to give you a vacation into your own habitat for a little while!

And thank you so much for visiting us at Book Readers Heaven...I so enjoyed meeting all of you in your book!

Well, I was surprised to be the one invited...When we heard about your reading our book, everybody figured you'd invite Dart...In fact, he was quite disappointed! And then Ferdinand, the great wordssquirrel thought surely he...

So, I hope you don't mind, but they sent a couple
of pictures for me to share, just so you know
what you're missing for not inviting the... Oh, my,
I didn't mean to say that here, but they both pestered me so much that I kept worrying about
how to bring them into our discussion.

LOL, Cool, I'm happy that you did, let's see them!
“I love dogs because they don’t say, ‘Oh, my day’s been rotten, and I’ve had two tests, and one in math, too. I don’t want to hear about your problems.’ They say, ‘Oh, poor you, poor you, let me make you feel better!’” -Anastasia Zelda Scribe
Don’t get me wrong. I love humans. I just don’t understand them.
Exhibit A: The family in front of me. Life’s not easy for a pound dog.
We crazy canines are lean, mean, adopt-me machines. We have to wag our tails until our rear ends fall off, whimper until we’re hoarse, and cock our heads until our necks snap clean off. Maybe I ain’t nothing but a pound dog, but I sure do know that’s what the humans just drink right up.
But wait! There’s more!
That’s right, folks; it only works if you’re a puppy! Goodness me, when did I ever think those little tricks could work for a grizzled old German Shepherd dog like me?
So, while the rest of the population of Happy Endings Adoption Center is busy making a primate out of itself, I’m lying on the opposite side of the Doggy Crate, pretending to be asleep.

So, I'd better go ahead and tell more about the story... Dart Onion (I always say his name this way since I fumble over the spelling of his real name--“D’Artagnan.”) was selected by Charlie, the boy in our family...and I have to laugh as to why he was selected...he "passed gas" (I refused to say that other word as a lady) and the Boy went wild laughing and immediately gave him another name which I also refused to say...)

Anyway, he was just getting used to the family life when I came into the picture. He was not happy...

Emilia hasn’t said a word. 
Turns out she just doesn’t know much Canish
. Mostly just Squirrian. I don’t understand
 Squirrian. It’s all Greek to me.
 Which technically doesn’t make sense,
 since it’s all Squirrian to me. She seems 
vaguely depressed, and she barely eats
 at mealtimes. Just a few quick bites, 
then she’s gone. I don’t really mind, seeing as I
 ‘inherit’ her uneaten scraps, 
but I still feel sorry for her. 
I mean, I’m allowed to go outside whenever
 I want, but the Scribes worry that, 
if given half the chance, Emilia might prove
 herself to still be a wild squirrel and try to run, 
which she undoubtedly is, of course. 
But they don’t have to know that. Emilia
 now spends most of her time quietly watching the
 windows.  I can feel her yearning for the outside

 Strangely, she has fallen out of the favor with
 The Powers That Be—also known as Mom
 and Dad—
and I seem to the center of the attention again.
Well, you can be sure I wasn't happy either! I wanted to be outside where I belonged...getting to meet someone special, but here I was getting involved with a dog, two girls and a boy, all of whom just wanted to touch and play with me...well, I was having a very hard time!

And then one day I saw him! He was lurking out in the yard,
and every once in awhile, he would peek out from behind the
tree. Was he really looking at me? I wasn't totally sure, but
you know how we female squirrels are...Sigh, I began to dream that maybe he was my knight in shining armor.

But even if he did like me, I couldn't get out and he couldn't get in. Even poor Dart began to worry about me--he could tell I was getting more and more depressed. Was it possibly "love" I was feeling? [sigh]!

What was a squirrel to do? And I didn't even realize that Dart was trying to get rid of me!

He was developing his plan, called CRUD--did you ever hear of such a silly name for a plan? Anyway, he was going to run away and make the rest of our family know just how important he was to them, and then when he was the top dog again, he would figure out how to get rid of me...

But guess what? When he got out, he met my secret admirer out in the yard! And, well, you just won't believe what happened then! Hey, Check out my SuperSquirrel! (I tried to talk him out of wearing that, butttt...Men!)

Outside the house, I smile at the passersby. If only I had an accordion. Ah, well. I pick a nice spot to do my business, far away from any Peeping Toms. And by that I mean tomcats. When I’m all finished, I start walking on the sidewalk back to the beef’s house. 
A sudden movement catches my attention. It’s a total squirrel moment. Complete with squirrel. “Squirrel!” I cry out, the fur on the back of my neck standing straight up. My nose twitches. “Squirrely squirrely squirrel!” I sprint after it on all fours, moving as quickly as I can. From the rough, wild animal scent, I can tell it’s not Emilia. It’s a wild squirrel. So much more fun. The squirrel is panting, its bushy tail twitching like a homicidal Mexican jumping bean with half a bucket of fire ants in its pants. It scurries up a tree, eyes wide and full of fright.
 “Please, faithful canine, I beseech you, hurt me not, for my knowledge shall fetch, mayhap, a greater treasure than the fine, warm fur coat I perchance happen to possess,” says the squirrel. I freeze, staring at it, whom I realize is a him.
 “Did you just . . . talk?” I ask. 
The squirrel nestles himself in his tail. “I doso pride myself in my extensive knowledge of Dog.” “That’s Canish, not Dog.” The squirrel nods knowingly. “Naturally, naturally. ‘Tis to canine what Spanish is to Spain, with the exception, mayhap, of the difference ‘twixt the added ine and the lack of i in the differing tongues. I know, I know; indeed, I am quite gifted, I do believe, in the scholarly study of tongues.” 
My ears twitch in annoyance. “You know Canish?”

Oh, before I forget, I'm supposed to tell all you readers that our book is BRH Recommended! I'm so happy to have visited today and have enjoyed every moment...except now!
Ahhhh...could you please tell your baby that I'm more of a dog person...


with Illustrator Michelle Izmaylov
About the Author
Nicole Izmaylov Born in Atlanta Georgia, Nicole Izmaylov won the Reflections contest several years in a row in the categories of literature and musical composition, including multiple first places at the state level. She also received national recognition for her poetry, won the Georgia Author of the Year Award for her children’s book, Ronnie and BB (2009), and has been nominated for the 2011 GAYA for her second book,The Dra├žian Dance (2010), which was written for young adult audiences. Nicole's interests include playing violin and piano and participating in the Academic, Debate, and Drama Clubs at her middle school.

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