Kirkus Reviews QR Code
NONI SAYS NO by Heather Hartt-Sussman


by Heather Hartt-Sussman & illustrated by Geneviève Côté

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Feb. 8th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-77049-233-2
Publisher: Tundra

Though young Noni is competent in most areas, when it comes to her best friend Susie, she “absolutely, positively cannot say no.” Here is a fine book that explores early friendships from a new angle—how to be a friend without being a doormat. This honest glimpse at the inner workings of young elementary friendships portrays Susie and Noni as ordinary friends—Susie taking the lead in all things and Noni going along with Susie, even when she wants to do something different. Soft collage and watercolor, digitally manipulated, add the right childlike perspective. Noni is surrounded by a red background when she is not speaking her mind, while Susie is assigned sunny, contented yellow.  When Noni allows Susie to cut and dye her hair, the red is even more pronounced. And when Noni finally finds her voice, the red extends to Susie herself. Young readers trying to figure out the challenges of friendship and teachers trying to shore up the timid will find a new friend in Noni. Gentle, like Noni herself. (Picture book. 6-9)