Allison's Book Bag

A Bird, A Squirrel, and A Cat

Posted on: May 7, 2013

This is Squirrel. He’s afraid of his own shadow. This is Bird. He doesn’t have a care in the world. And this is Cat. He wants to eat Bird and Squirrel. Of course, he’ll have to catch them first and that’s not going to be easy.

The above description comes from the back cover of Bird and Squirrel on the Run, a graphic novel by James Burks and published by Scholastic.


James Burks has spent the last fifteen years working in the animation industry. Some movies that you might recognize his work from include: Atlantis, Emperor’s New Groove, Iron Giant, and Treasure Planet. Ironically, he started writing and illustrating his own books as an outlet for his creativity while working in animation. He would work on animated films during the day and his own stuff at night. Besides loving to tell stories with art, he likes to eat tacos and to run.

At Illustration.Org, he offers this advice to aspiring artists: “Draw constantly , write a lot, and even though the notes may seem bad they usually end up making the book better. Just keep putting stuff out there and make each one better than the last.”

You can also learn more about James Burks in this video:


Below are links to drawing squirrel and cat!

And here’s one to a coloring sheet of both characters:

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