Animal lovers will be charmed by Pepito’s underdog charisma — “Pepito The Squirrel, was crawling towards him / Determined to catch up, while dragging his hind limb” — and cheer him along as he perseveres through physical exams for broken bones and bouts of exhausting rehab. The bond between man and squirrel is evident, as Pepito ventures away just long enough to try out new activities before bounding back “to rest in his arms, where it all began.” Erebia documents Pepito’s convalescence without wasting time on pity, stressing the squirrel’s hard-wired zip and innate need to safely interact in nature, while devoting plenty of space to Pepito’s performances (“He loved taking photos; he was quite a ham”) for his social media followers.
The rhyming text is stilted and at times feels forced — “Once, he got lost, it took hours to find him / The man gave some thought, and looked on a whim.” Still, the end result is a playful narrative that eschews formality for fun, and there’s ingenuity in rhyming squirrel with deferral. Not to be underestimated or taken lightly, Pepito has overcome Herculean odds and adapted to serious challenges. Erebia has literally stumbled onto a story worth celebrating, and Pepito’s vivacity is guaranteed to make readers of all ages swoon.
Takeaway: Animal lovers will cheer this squirrel’s recovery, captured in photos and light verse.
Great for fans of: Diane Trull and Meredith Wargo’s DAWGS: A True Story of Lost Animals and the Kids Who Rescued Them, James Herriot’s All Things Wise and Wonderful.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
This is actually one of the most heartwarming stories you will ever read- Children's Bookshelf
This children's book is truly heart-warming and so wonderful to read. - Author of Go to Sleep Little Peep!
True story of creature kindness and care is both heartwarming and inspiring. - Bedtime Stories Forever
Pepito The Squirrel is a beautiful rhyming book that can be read-aloud with kids. - Kidliomag
This is such a heart-warming true story. - Kid's Picture Book Review
The essence of the story is captured by the author's candid, poetic and rhyming words. It was an absolute joy. - We Review Picture Books
Delightful, heart warming, playful and enjoyable. The illustrations made me fall in love with Pepito. - Illustrator of In the Wake of the Willows
Readers of all ages will be captivated by the charming and unique. - Author of Hatch!
KIRKUS VERDICT: GET IT!
Young wildlife lovers will embrace this intriguing rehabilitation account.
Charming, compelling, and brimming with heart . . . A beautifully written, morally bracing tale.
Based on a true rescue story, this poignant first installment of the Pepito the Squirrel series by the retired physician Erebia takes readers on Pepito’s journey of rescue and rehabilitation.
The rhyming text adeptly carries the story forward. The stunning photographs help bring Pepito’s story to life.