Dolly and Jack are a pig and a rabbit whose lives are immensely enriched by their friendship.
Dolly and Jack love playing together. They bolster each other with continual giggles and compliments. When a day comes that they have an emotionally charged misunderstanding, it is devastating to them both. They go their separate ways and are shown individually processing their feelings of anger and hurt. They each use their own self-care strategies to return to a place of calm; Dolly takes deep breaths and a warm bath while Jack counts slowly and visualizes something that makes him happy. These individual practices allow each character to return to the friendship and start anew. The story is immensely in tune with young readers and does a wonderful job depicting the full process of self-regulation: Big feelings are identified and named, and known calming strategies are selected and implemented. The childlike illustrations are delightfully messy, with bold lines and colorful shading. Upon return to the friendship, the two friends are shown expressing their care through appropriate, gentle touch. The yoga poses thrown in at the end are more of a distraction than a meaningful addition, but it’s a minor flaw.
Though originally published in Australia nearly 10 years ago, it’s a fresh, relevant exploration of social-emotional regulation. (Picture book. 3-7)