Hello Orange/Hello Squirrel

Hello Orange/Hello Squirrel is the story of a little squirrel who lives in an orange tree, because all of its friends are oranges! Alas, one day, oranges begin to fall from the tree. WHAT IS A LITTLE SQUIRREL TO DO??

Hello Orange/Hello Squirrel cover Hello Orange/Hello Squirrel Hello Orange/Hello Squirrel Hello Orange/Hello Squirrel Hello Orange/Hello Squirrel preview page (screaming orange)

  • first printed: October 2010
  • size: 4.25″ x 5.5″, 24 pages plus cover
  • binding method: saddlestitched
  • production notes: cover printed on orange (okay, it’s called “gold” but it looks pretty orange to me) 70 lb. text, interior pages printed on paper with a stippled “orange peel” finish
  • status:¬†OUT OF PRINT

This story was inspired by chats with my friend orangisque, as we’d often start with caps-locked greetings to each other’s online avatars. It seemed to me that the catchy phrase was a perfect title for something.

So I pondered. Clearly, if a squirrel and an orange were greeting each other on a regular basis, they were friends, and up to other shenanigans. But as we know … things happen to oranges. The rest of the story grew naturally out of this. orangisque also helpfully supplied dialogue for her peoples. For those with small children, it does have a happy ending. Phew!

Hello Orange/Hello Squirrel has the distinction of being:

  • somehow submitted for consideration to the Gene Day Award for Self-Publishing (I say somehow because I didn’t realize it had been submitted, and still don’t know how it happened except maybe from some kind soul picking it up during Canzine 2010)
  • being my first (and thus far only) book that was reviewed in a “real” publication: Issue 54 of Broken Pencil. The reviewer was not particularly enamoured by the character art style or the general lack of depth in the story – totally understandable considering it was an extended in-joke. However, and most importantly from my perspective, the reviewer also described the maiji squirrel as “amorphous”. This struck me as a particularly awesome adjective.

To this day Hello Orange/Hello Squirrel remains one of, if not the, most popular books I have made. It seems to appeal to just about everyone, young or old, male or female, except perhaps people who dislike generic oranges and amorphous squirrels. When people pick it up from my table at conventions, it’s amusingly delightful to watch their facial expressions and/or hear them start reading the story out, especially when they get to the page where the orange is screaming.

Someday, I will write a sequel. Someday.