Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Review: Chirp! Chipmunk Sings for a Friend by Jamie A. Swenson

Today's review is going to hit the world in a few days (July 13th) and is a read so many young readers will be able to identify with (even adults sometimes share this Chipmunk's troubles). I love the idea of a singing chipmunk...and a sweet one at that. 

Maybe, you'll want to chirp right along with this one... 

by Jamie A. Swenson
Illustrated by Scott Magoon
Paula Wiseman Books
40 pages
ages 4 to 8

JULY 13th!!!

A chipmunk searches for someone to sing along with her in this sweet and funny celebration of true friendship, featuring art by New York Times bestselling illustrator Scott Magoon.

Chipmunk spends her days sitting on her rock and chirping her song—sometimes it’s happy, sometimes it’s bittersweet, and sometimes it’s very sad indeed. When Chipmunk goes off to find a companion that will sing along with her, she encounters some bumps (and pine cones) along the way, and finds friends (and harmonies) in unexpected places.



Simple and meaningful...just like a heart-filled song.

Chipmunk spends her days on her favorite rock, singing all day long. Sometimes sad songs and sometimes happy ones, and while she doesn't really have any friends, the rock is the best listener. But it's not really enough, either. So, she goes on a journey to find some friends.

This is a gentle book through and through, and yet, it holds a strong message and leaves an impact. Chipmunk is such a sweet creature, and the singing makes her so endearing. The first pages have her alone on her rock singing, and it sets the perfect cute yet melancholy stage. When she journeys out with the desire to find friends, it's impossible not to feel for her and root for her every step of the way.

The text is well placed and great for young listeners either as a read-aloud or alone (for those with a bit better handle on their words). The illustrations are as gentle as the text and bring across the scenes and characters well. Listeners can follow the tale on their own by flipping through.

Many listeners can identify with Chipmunk, since everyone feels alone at one time or another. Her courage to reach out and find friends is inspiring. Even the idea that you never know who will be your friend is there. It's encouraging, offers hope, and leaves a smile on the face.

And here they are...

Jamie A. Swenson is the author of If You Were a Dog, illustrated by Chris Raschka, which HuffPost called “one of the best read-aloud books of the year.” Kirkus Reviews called Big Rig, illustrated by Ned Young, “a friend [readers] won’t soon forget.” Jamie is also the author of the Woof & Quack early reader series, which Kirkus Reviews called “just as much fun” as Elephant & Piggie. She holds an MFA in creative writing for children and young adults from Hamline University, and works as an associate librarian and early literary specialist. She lives in Wisconsin with her family. Learn more at

Scott Magoon has illustrated many critically-acclaimed picture books, including the New York Times bestselling Rescue & Jessica by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, which also received a Schneider Family Book Award, Straw by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, and Misunderstood Shark by Ame Dyckman. He is the author-illustrator of Breathe, which was named a Kirkus Reviews Best Read Aloud and a Best Book of the Year by the HuffPost and Chicago Public Library. Scott lives in the Boston area with his wife and two sons. Visit him online at

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