Two kids, each named Tim, are best friends.
The most obvious distinguishing feature between the two apparently white Tims is their hair. One Tim has blond hair (and pink skin), the other has brown (and has ever-so-slightly darker skin). But they both are exuberant little tots who climb trees and have a ton of fun together. Until Tom comes along. Tom’s also white (and wears an orange stocking cap—just to keep everything straight) and likes some things that one Tim likes and some things that the other Tim does. But the two Tims and Tom can never quite agree on one activity to do together. Until Tom announces that he likes to swim. Neither Tim knows how. Tom teaches the Tims, and a new friendship group is formed! In short, staccato bursts, the text (“Two Tims. Best friends. Forever.”) mimics a youngster’s all-or-nothing thought process. Two friends are simple to understand. Reciprocity is easy. But adding a third requires compromise, and the possibility of feeling left out increases. Even the resolution—“Two Tims and a Tom. / Best friends. Forever”—is not as definite as it sounds, as a fourth child suddenly strolls into view on the final, wordless page. Alborozo’s loose pen sketches (especially the sloping forehead-to-nose swoop), with great swaths of white behind, suggest a distinct Peter Reynolds influence.
An oft-told learning journey that all friend groups must navigate; this simple telling may resonate in ways others do not. (Picture book. 2-5)