Opal vs. The Woods

*and dogs and raccoons and foxes and coyotes and mean squirrels and hunger and hawks and the dark and owls and other random scary stuff

Children - Animals
112 Pages
Reviewed on 04/21/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite

Opal vs. The Woods is a humorous children’s book, written and illustrated by Tony Wirt. After becoming lost in the woods, domesticated (and declawed) cat, Opal, finds herself in a bit of a pickle. Unable to find her way back home after wandering into the woods, Opal befriends a squirrel, Nuts, who alerts Opal to all of the possible dangers she might face – especially since the removal of her claws means she is unable to climb in order to escape predators. Through sheer luck, Opal survives a confrontation with three nasty-minded raccoons, leading Nuts to seek out the advice of the Squirrel-in-Charge (SIC). The newly-elected squirrel promises to solve their dilemma, but only on one condition: that Opal returns a giant bag of acorns to the squirrels, which had been stolen by the raccoons, thus greatly reducing their supply. With Nuts willingly offering her assistance to Opal at all times, the cat accepts the squirrels’ challenge. What lies beyond, however, may mean the end of both Opal and Nuts before the sun sets.

Wow, what a whirlwind of adventure! Tony Wirt’s storytelling abilities, accompanied by his cleverly unique and perfectly timed illustrations, make Opal vs. The Woods a compelling read, filled with hilarity, drama, suspense, adventure and more. I was easily able to visualize the events in play, filling my mind with a wondrous tale which would delight both child and adult audiences alike. Both Opal and Nuts need to use every limit of their imagination and more, as they go up against some of the most fearsome creatures of the forest. I felt deeply saddened by the fact that Opal had been declawed, but was impressed that the tale showed many unique examples of how deadly (and cruel) declawing can be to any feline. The improvisations which had to be made by the squirrel/cat duo were imaginative, and I applaud Tony Wirt on the many lessons that Opal vs. The Woods provides. I fully enjoyed each and every page of Opal’s story, and recommend it to readers of all ages who love animal tales which come from the most distant reaches of the imagination.