Little boys and their (imaginary) toys make for a very real story of rivalry and friendship.
Anton wears a swashbuckling hat with a feather; Luke wears a Viking sort of helmet. The two boys meet in the slightest suggestion of outdoors: a bit of squiggly grass drawn on white space. Anton announces to Luke: “I’m stronger than you,” to which Luke retorts, “Very funny!”—and so it begins. Anton lifts a stone “this big,” while Luke lifts one “THIS big!” Escalation escalates. Luke carries a whole piano, so he is stronger and much, much louder. But Anton retaliates with drums. By the time they get to bombs and swinging tigers and lions by the tail, alert children with see that the red and blue outlines of their bigger-louder-stronger tools are really floating on the white background of their imaginations. But then, a “big dog” chases both up a tree (children will notice it is actually a cute little puppy), and the boys begin to compare how hungry they are and how big a cake they will eat if they ever get down. Which they do, arguing about who is faster all the way home.
Five-year-olds the world over (this was first published in Germany) will recognize the conversations and the friendship in this sweet book. (Picture book. 4-8)