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FRIENDS (MOSTLY) by Barbara Joosse


by Barbara Joosse & illustrated by Tomaso Milian

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-088221-1
Publisher: Greenwillow

Bestselling picture-book author Joosse teams up with a novice illustrator for this depiction of friendship between a little boy and girl. Less a story than an episodic presentation of the ups and downs of Henry and Ruby’s days together, successive pages show them first enjoying each other’s company and then squabbling when their differing personalities clash or when they feel insecure in their bond. “Usually we’re friends, but sometimes we’re unfriends. It all depends,” read the opening pages. Throughout the book, Milian captures the children’s exuberant play in watercolors embellished with line that at times include background detail and at other times use white space to highlight action in the scenes. The lack of a full story arc might leave some kids unsatisfied—readers meet the characters and can believe in their affection for one another, but the text doesn’t really achieve much more than this. Perhaps other children will recognize themselves in Henry and Ruby and feel this is enough. A (mostly) good picture book. (Picture book. 4-8)