Every young child looks forward to the last day of school and the start of summer vacation. The excitement fills the air in every classroom and students can’t wait to run out and enjoy the beautiful weather, the outdoors and have some real fun. But, the students in this classroom learn a lesson that they will take with them for a very long time as Mrs. Hoot, their wise Owl teacher reminds them not to venture into the Dark Forest, not to walk alone but remain with a Buddy using the very old but popular Buddy System and stay safe. Adventures of Nutty and Twittles: Oh Nuts I lost my little sister, teaches many important lessons that not only the special animal characters in this story can learn but young children too.
Nutty and his school friends could not run out fast enough when the bell rang hearing what Mrs. Hoot said but not really processing the gravity of her words.
Speckles the turtle, Squinty the raccoon, Nutty and the squirrel and his sister Twittles along with Robby Robin could not wait to play hide “n” seek. Gathering his friends, explaining the rules each of his friends tried his/her best to find a great hiding place. Twittles was worried that she would be found first. Speckles wanted him to count higher than 10 to give him a chance to hide. Wiggles was the first one he found followed by some of the others. But, where they hid is a secret in case they use the same hiding place next time. Everyone was accounted for except for Twittles and this really scared Nutty. Each of his friends banned together with him to try and find her and then Nutty remembered Mrs. Hoot’s words about the Dark Forest and the Buddy System. The Buddy System is still in place in some schools today and is a great way to make sure that children are paired with someone and are safe and will not get lost. Robby flew up in the sky and Wiggles looked under the branches and Squinty looked behind the rocks and trees. NO TWITTLES! The illustrations are colorful, show the expressions on the animal’s faces and the entrance to the Dark Forest making the story come alive even for non-readers to understand and follow the plot. Poor Nutty, what was he going to do and finding his way into the Dark Forest he comes in contact with Plago and what happens makes his heart pound as he relates that she might be lost. Realizing that he does not belong there Nutty leaves the forest and hears a familiar Hoot! Just what happens and the lessons they all learn about the Buddy System and the Dark Forest come full circle when Mrs. Hoot speaks from above the trees. What she tells them is enlightening? Did anyone find Twittles that remains to be seen? Hiding places are fun when they are not far from where you are playing and you follow safety rules. Nutty and his friends learned the importance of listening when an adult instructs them in a specific safety rule. They just might understand the dangers of the Dark Forest and think twice before even venturing in to this dangerous place. They learned the importance of the Buddy System and the true meaning of friendship. Trust, loyalty, forgiveness, understanding and friendship are all lessons learned in this great story by Dennis Marcoux and illustrator Amy Rottinger. The pictures are expressive and match the dialogue and the storyline and the faces and expressions are well crafted and vividly depicted. So, what’s next for these great characters? Let’s hope the author brings them back for another adventure real soon. Where is Twittles? That’s a secret that cannot be revealed!
Fran Lewis: Reviewer