Introduction:Bird and Squirrel On The Run! is a odd couple road trip comic book that sets the stage for this duo to go on many zany adventures. The two couldn’t be more unalike to each other. Bird is a free spirit that goes where the wind takes him and Squirrel is a by the book no nonsense kind of rodent who takes caution very seriously. The two end up needing each other more than once and have to find a way to deal with each others antics in order to survive their trip to the south.
VitalsTitle: Bird & Squirrel On the Run!
Creator: James Burks
Writer: James Burks
Artist: James Burks
Content: Bird & Squirrel On the Run! is an all ages book and contains action scenes and mild violence.
Story:Squirrel is your everyday rodent, focused on the task of surviving the winter. Each step is calculated and caution is always forefront in his mind. He must accumulate enough nuts to last the winter or perish and nothing can stand in the way of that goal.
Enter Bird, a freewheeling sort that goes where the wind takes him and lives by the seat of his pants. Bird throws caution to the wind and is always on the lookout for shiny things and new adventures.
When Bird brings a cat to the doorstep of Squirrel’s burrow, Squirrel does something he knows he will regret and steps in. The result is Bird’s safety, but Squirrel’s stores lies in ruin and he knows he won’t last the winter. Bird’s big idea? Road trip! It takes some cajoling, but Squirrel relents and joins him on a trek to warmer weather south.
All is not safe in their travels though as the cat they thought left behind is hot on their trail and seeking either rodent or bird as a tasty snack. They will need their wits and both of their approaches to life to outwit the dangerous cat and survive the road trip of a lifetime.
Review:Bird and Squirrel On The Run! has a lot going for it. The characters are likeable, the art is fitting with today’s style, and the story moves on at a quick pace. The book is geared towards ages 7+ (second grade kids and older) and is very fitting in terms of its humor and vocabulary for kids that age. I could easily imagine the kids I work with really getting into this graphic novel.
The story is pretty basic and straightforward, very much like a cartoon episode. The setup brings these two together for the classic road trip storyline and they go from being antagonistic companions forced together by circumstance to stalwart friends. It was a quick read for me that didn’t hit the mark like some of the other kid’s graphic novels I’ve read, but again, I think young readers will enjoy the antics and humor portrayed within.
The art has a very unique style with most of the characters having a boxy look. I liked it and think it is very fitting for kids these days and the characters are very identifiable, even in silhouette. The coloring was fantastic and vibrant and it really added a lot to the overall presentation. The beginning feels like fall and that was very nice to see. My copy only had the first fourteen pages colored, but if the rest of the book is this good, I certainly hope that it will get recognized by the Eisners as I thought it was stunning.
Conclusion:What we have here is a pretty typical story with two characters that set out together and learn to become fast friends. Adults may not see much beyond that, but kids will certainly enjoy the action, comedy, and characters throughout this story. I think it has some great things here and look forward to where other volumes might take us.
A review copy was provided by the publisher.