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Thursday, June 10, 2010 That's What Friends Do: Kathryn Cave, Nick Maland: Books

PreSchool-Grade 1–This treatise on friendship is wrapped in the goofy guise of a relationship between a large pink creature that's a cross between a hippo and a dog, and a short animal with a long nose and orange-and-yellow striped skin, who narrates the story. At first, the smaller creature describes being lost, hurt, or simply shy and tells how the larger friend is there to help. Later, the two of them fight but quickly make up. Finally, the narrator is able to rescue his big buddy, who has become lost "in the woods, in the woods." The two of them fly off together in a hot-air balloon knowing that friendship is a two-way street. With repetitive phrasing and a poetic sensitivity, the text does a fine job of addressing the emotional vulnerability of individuals. It also moves the action along at a brisk pace. Besides the imaginative depictions of the fanciful characters, the artwork playfully uses color to augment their emotions–be it sunny yellow or an angry red. There is a heartwarming sweetness to this book.–Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI

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