Omek and Yelfred have weathered friendship difficulties before (Best Frints in the Whole Universe, 2016), but can their relationship survive Yelfred’s picking Q-B as his new best frint?
Skrool on Boborp is similar to school on Earth, with rules, learning, and bloox to read, though Portis’ pictures and text hilariously contradict each other. “When the bell BLANGS the stroodents sit quietly.” In the picture, they bite and kick, and across the gutter, they yell as they “learn to listen when their skreecher spleeks.” At recess, “childrinx make new frints,” and this is where the trouble starts for poor Omek, whose best frint, Yelfred, has a new best frint, Q-B. Omek’s frown deepens and their shoulders and head sag ever more as Yelfred and Q-B grow close and leave them out of their fun. But some lunch sharing (“Spewd flight!”) gives Omek the opening he needs. Portis’ illustrations, done with pencil, charcoal, and a Cintiq drawing tablet, once again use a brilliant palette and digital textures to great effect, bringing to vivid life this alien world. The characters are diverse in color, shape, size, and numbers of eyes, tentacles, and appendages. Endpapers add to the fun (and help decipher the Boborpian language) with a glossary of terms, the numbers from one to 10, and directions for playing eye ball in the peedle pit.
Gurm’s company, but threep doesn’t have to be a crowd when it comes to starting school and making new friends. (Picture book. 4-8)