A lonely little rabbit desperately chooses a very unusual friend.
Bo notices other creatures happily playing with friends and is determined to find one of his own. He notices…someone (a large egg) nestled in some reeds, says hello, and getting no reply, decides that this new friend is just shy. He names his friend Rollie, takes him home, and attempts to play all sorts of games with him. Rollie never reacts until Bo paints a smile on his blank face. A picnic turns into a mess as Bo becomes more and more frustrated with this one-sided relationship. Finally, a loud crack reveals “a lovely surprise.” It’s a baby duck and a real live new friend with whom playtime is fun at last. Short, easy sentences are set in white space amid busy, colorful scenes that are filled with details that provide more information than the text. Sharp-eyed readers will spot several animal friendships, and they will of course notice that Rollie is an egg. Unlike Rollie, Bo’s face tells every emotion from loneliness to puzzlement, frustration, and eventually, great joy. Zuniga’s slight tale walks the knife edge between whimsy and treacle. Young readers might laugh at Bo’s excessive cluelessness, but they might just cheer when Rollie hatches and the little duck finally becomes Bo’s longed-for friend.
Charming and sweet. (Picture book. 3-7)