Squirrel Antics and “When A Tree Grows” news

Fact: The yard is filled with acorns.
Fact: The yard is filled with squirrels.
Fact: Squirrels exceed my shutter speed.

In preparation for the launch of my picture book, When A Tree Grows from Sterling Children’s Books, I’ve been trying to capture some silly squirrel antics on camera.

The squirrels must know. They taunt me.

It rained all morning. The squirrels squatted plumply on the grass, nibbling nuts and holding their thick, fluffy tails over their heads like umbrellas. “How cute!” I thought, and raced for my camera. Alas…

But these speedsters can’t compare to the cute squirrel rendered at the pen of illustrator Kasia Nowowiejska. Just wait until you see!

Our squirrels dangle from tree limbs,         
race across fence tops, and snack on our
flowers when they tire of the acorn buffet.

The other character in the book is a moose.
I am still waiting patiently for a moose to
appear in the yard. Will I have a better chance of snapping a moose photo? I may not need the telephoto lens…


Until I can officially share more details about When A Tree Grows, you’ll have to pen its official release date –  April 2, 2019  – onto your calendars!

In the meantime, I’ll be thinking about writing future picture books with s..l..o..w but still photogenic subjects. Stay tuned!


About Cathy Ballou Mealey

Picture book addict and autism advocate, author, scone lover. WHEN A TREE GROWS (2019) @SterlingKids. Repped by Liza Fleissig @lizaroyceagency. Reach me via email at cmealey@post.harvard.edu or Twitter/Instagram @catballoumealey
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31 Responses to Squirrel Antics and “When A Tree Grows” news

  1. Reblogged this on Teresa Robeson and commented:
    I have a love-hate relationship with squirrels but they always amuse me. 😀 I cannot wait for my sweet and talented friend Cathy’s book to come out! It will be awesome; I guarantee it!

    • Cathy Ballou Mealey says:

      I am so grateful for your re-blog Teresa! And I cannot wait for Queen of Physics: How Chien-Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom. #science #women #pioneers

  2. Love these photos! I think the blurring makes them even funnier and truly capture the essence of squirrels. Can’t wait for your book! ❤

  3. rnewman504 says:

    Cathy, I can’t wait to find out what antics your characters are up to. Look forward to reading your book.

  4. Carol Munro says:

    YAY! So happy to see it’s April 2 and not an April Fool’s joke. 😉 I want to get my hands on that book!

  5. Iza Trapani says:

    I can’t wait for your book, Cathy! Congratulations!!!!

  6. Congratulations to you! Such good news. I will be looking for your book. I do love squirrels but, yes, they are quick!

  7. Tina Cho says:

    Ha! What a fun post. I envy your acorns. Not too many oak trees in my area. And squirrels are RARE.

    • Cathy Ballou Mealey says:

      Thanks Tina! Did you know that squirrels were purposefully introduced to the east coast of the US in 1850’s as an entertaining addition to park life? Whoops! Our squirrels eat lots of maple seeds in addition to acorns.

  8. Fiiiiiiiinally! News about your book!

    And WOOOO! This is wonderful news!

    And, oh, how I love squirrels. I have one hang out outside of my kitchen window waiting for me to through out nuts. (Because *of course* I throw out nuts to squirrels.) What makes him physically distinct from the other squirrels in my yard is an exaggerated curve in his spine. So I named him Squirreliosis.

  9. Ronna Mandel says:

    April 2, 2019 is going to be a most wonderful day! Less than six months to go 😄

    • Cathy Ballou Mealey says:

      Tick, tick, tick…I should start a countdown! Thanks for your continuous encouragement and support Ronna!

  10. You might want to try the burst feature on an iPhone. It takes pictures so fast you’d be able to get one that’s not a blur. And yes, what Mike said: Throw out nuts, LOL. Looking forward to reading your book!!! Woohoo!

    • Cathy Ballou Mealey says:

      That’s a great idea Jilane. Amazing what phone cameras can do! Thanks for your Woohoo! of support! 🙂

  11. I will buy this book for my husband when it is published. I t looks like an entertaining read and would love to review it. He really has a love – hate relationship with squirrels. Think he’s tried every contraption to outsmart them and failed. Told him I was going to put on his headstone, “The Squirrel Won!”

    • I know squirrels can be hard to love sometimes – when they take all the birdseed or make a home in the attic. Maybe he will prefer the Moose character! Thanks for all your support and encouragement Pat.

  12. Lauri Meyers says:

    SO happy for you Cathy! All the squirrels in my yard and my “pet” chipmunk Petey are throwing nuts at you in celebration! (that’s how you know they like you. I think. Or they are really rude. But I doubt it…)

    • Cathy Ballou Mealey says:

      Yay! What a great idea – showering someone with nuts. Maybe if there is a sequel…
      TY for the great idea and “chip chip hooray”!

  13. Must be squirrel fever going around. I keep running into squirrel stories lately. Did you catch the PBS Nature episode on squirrels yesterday? Great stuff. You can watch it here: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/a-squirrels-guide-to-success-full-episode/16801/

    • By the way, a hundred red squirrels here in the Balsamea woods are having a book release party for you. You should hear the racket!

      • Cathy Ballou Mealey says:

        Yes – I thought that was a great episode of Nature! Especially the Alaskan ground squirrel that freezes in hibernation. Brr. The slow-motion film of jumping/landing physics was fascinating too. Thanks to the Balsamea chatterers for their support! Go nuts!

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