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Batcat and the Seven Squirrels

80 pages
Nathan has always loved animals and longs for a pet. When a baby squirrel shows up at Nathan's door, he wonders what could have happened to its mother. It isn't long before his family discovers six more orphaned baby squirrels in need of food and shelter. With help from Batcat, a neighborhood cat who is fed by many but owned by no one, Nathan learns to care for the squirrels. But all babies must leave the nest eventually. Will Nathan finally find a pet to call his own?
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Text copyright ©2016Eric Walters Illustrations copyright ©2016Kasia Charko All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Walters, Eric,1957–, author Batcat and the seven squirrels / Eric Walters ; illustrated by Kasia Charko. (Orca echoes)
Issued in print and electronic formats. isbn 9781459812550(paperback).—isbn 9781459812567(pdf).— isbn 9781459812574(epub)
I. Charko, Kasia,1949, illustrator III. Series: Orca echoesII. Title. ps8595.a598b38 2016jc813'.54 c20169005321 c2016900533x
First published in the United States,2016Library of Congress Control Number:2016931876
Summary: In this early chapter book, Nathan learns to care for seven orphaned baby squirrels with help from a stray neighborhood cat.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Cover artwork and interior illustrations by Kasia Charko Author photo by Sofia Kinachtchouk
orca book publishers www.orcabook.com
Printed and bound in Canada.
To Batcat
Nathan looked up from his meal and out the window. There was something pressed against the screen of the door. It was pinned there, moving as the wind blew it back and forth, back and forth. He thought it was very strange how it was moving. Was it a black plastic bag or a piece of paper or…no, it was furry, and it had a tail, and—
“It’s a squirrel!” Nathan yelled as he jumped up from the table. He ran across the kitchen. His father and mother were right behind him. He skidded to a stop at the thin screen door standing between him and the squirrel. His parents stood beside him. “It’s just a baby,” his mother said. Instead of running away, the little squirrel continued to cling to the screen. It tilted its head to the side and looked in at them as they looked out at it. “He’s so cute,” Nathan said. “Heis cute, but what’s he doing here?” his mother asked. “Maybe he wants to come in and join us for supper,” his father joked.
“Could he?” Nathan asked. “I’d share my salad with him.” “He should go back and joinhisfamily for dinner,” Nathan’s mother said. She looked at her husband, and he nodded in agreement. “Time to go home, little guy,” his father said as he gently tapped one of his fingers against the screen. Instead of running off, the squirrel climbed up the screen until it was at the spot where he’d been tapping. His father moved his finger and tapped at another spot on the screen, and the little animal followed after his finger. “So what do we do now?” Nathan asked. “We could close the door, and he might go away,” his father suggested. “That would be rude,” Nathan said.
“But it’s not like we can bring him in.” Nathan leaned in a little closer to the squirrel. “He’s crying.” “I don’t think squirrels cry,” his mother said. “But I do hear something… it’s squeaking.” “He’s probably calling for his mother to come and get him,” Nathan said. Nathan’s father went to close the door and hesitated. He knew Nathan was concerned. “It’ll be okay, Nathan. I’m sure his mother will come and get him as soon as we close the door.” Nathan wanted to believe his father, but he was worried. He nodded his head ever so slightly in agreement. His father slowly started to close the door and— “Wait!” Nathan called out. “Look!”