BUTTON AND BUNDLE by Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan


Age Range: 6 - 9
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When Button has to move away from her best friend, Bundle, she finds a way to stay connected from afar, if only in her mind.

Button, a white girl with long, reddish-blonde hair, and Bundle, a black girl with afro puffs, spend their days together, playing with their dolls, “weaving daisy chains, blowing wishes, and singing their song.” Both girls are distressed when Button moves away. “Button didn’t think they’d ever be happy again.” Three spreads are devoted to this sad time, and Button’s sadness is transferred onto her doll: “Petal wanted to stay in her bed.…It was a lonely, blue time for Button and Petal.” But one day, a yellow balloon “arrived with a song on the breeze,” and Button uses it to send Petal off to find Bundle and Rose (Bundle’s doll and Petal’s best friend). She happily imagines Bundle receiving Petal and singing their song. Then, one day, Button is looking for fairies when she stumbles upon another girl looking for fairies “and friends.” Leah, a girl with light brown skin and long, brown hair, gives Button a unicorn, and once again Button has a best friend, “singing a new song” without forgetting her old song and her old friend. The illustrations, soft and whimsical drawings done in watercolor and pastel with pencil, create a dreamlike quality for each stage of the story. Button’s friends feel almost imaginary, which is somewhat troubling as they are depicted as girls of color, but her emotions feel very real.

A (mostly) sweet story of friendship, letting go, and new beginnings. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 19th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5247-6668-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2018


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