By John Ostapkovich

By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–A Philadelphia native and celebrated children’s book author is out with a new novel about an unlikely superhero.

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“Flora & Ulysses, The Illuminated Adventures,” is a mix of prose and comic book sequences that begin with a squirrel’s near-fatal encounter with a vacuum cleaner.

He emerges able to fly, perform feats of immense strength and write poetry.

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Author Kate DiCamillo says having such a squirrelly protagonist is both good and bad.

“The no and the yes work together for you because you’ve got a built-in funniness when you make a squirrel into a superhero, and squirrel alone as a word is one of those words where you you put it in any sentence and it makes the sentence funnier, and in the other way it was hard because the squirrel is such an ignoble creature. People really don’t like squirrels very much.”

But they’re certainly good for a laugh which is what DiCamillo is aiming for here, a light-hearted, good-hearted tale from a woman who says her favorite superhero of childhood was Charlie Brown.

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