A red squirrel stows away on a canoe to fulfill his dream of joining a group of voyageurs--men who paddle canoes filled with goods to a trading post thousands of miles away.
A Finalist for the Minnesota Book Award
It is 1792 and unbeknownst to a group of voyageurs traveling from Montreal to Grand Portage, an intrepid squirrel, Jean Pierre Petit Le Rouge, sneaks onto their canoe. Le Rouge is soon discovered because he can't contain his excitement--mon dieu he is so enthusiastic. The smells! The vistas! The comradery!
The voyageurs are not particularly happy to have him, especially because Le Rouge rides, but he does not paddle. He eats, but he does not cook. He doesn't even carry anything on portages--sometimes it is he who has to be carried. He also has a terrible singing voice. What kind of voyageur is that?
When they finally arrive at the trading post Le Rouge is in for a terrible shock--the voyageurs have traveled all those miles to collect beaver pelts. With the help of Monique, a smart and sweet flying squirrel, Le Rouge organizes his fur-bearing friends of the forest to ambush the men and try and convince them to quit being voyageurs.
Written by a Newbery honor author, the book has over 20 black-and-white illustrations.
About the Author
Margi Preus is a New York Times bestselling author of several books for young readers, including the Newbery Honor book Heart of a Samurai. Her most recent books include Shadow on the Mountain, and the picture book Celebritrees: Historic and Famous Trees of the World, illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon. Ms. Preus lives in Duluth, Minnesota.
Cheryl Pilgrim is an illustrator and public school art teacher. She recently wrote and illustrated the picture book Big and Little: A Story Of Opposites. She lives near Houston, Texas.
"The novel bristles with details from the world of 18th-century fur trappers . . . Preus plumps up these historical facts with flesh — and leaves the reader knowing what it might feel like to be a smart, intrepid squirrel finding his way as an adventurer while standing up for his fellow creatures"—The New York Times Book Review
★ "In this spry novel, Newbery Honoree Preus deftly threads together a nature adventure, history lesson, cautionary environmental tale, and an animal love story. . . . Evocative pictures by Pilgrim (Big and Little) augment the story’s ample heart and humor, and an author’s note contextualizes the fur trade, including its impact on indigenous people." —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Overall, a highly recommended, fast-moving story that will amuse, inform, and entertain young readers."—The Historical Novel Society
"Le Rouge relates his story with drama and flair, presenting a colorful prism through which to view the daily life of a voyageur. . . . A rousing introduction to the life of a voyageur told from a unique perspective."—Kirkus Reviews
"Preus' text is rich in setting detail, especially regarding the natural world that the voyageurs traverse. She also excels at integrating French vocabulary into the story and appends a pronunciation guide. Pilgrim's frequent black-and-white illustrations help to clarify details and break up the text for younger readers. . . . will please readers"—Booklist
"a boatload of information and entertainment. Softly sketched black and white illustrations, a French pronunciation guide, and historical notes are included."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books