Olive and Emily, Emily and Olive; they will be best friends forever. Period. The End. Or is it?
The story of two best friends and how they are infiltrated by a new buddy is a universal school story. When Eva arrives, quiet Olive watches a new friendship develop, one that does not fit into her perfect world. Or maybe she does not fit into that new world. Eva and Emily enjoy each other: They dance ballet together, wear matching bows and T-shirts in an “ugly throw-up purple color,” carry the exact same lunch bag and start calling each other the “Sparkle-Es.” Olive doesn’t know what to do. One day, she tries to become part of the crowd, but she ends up in tears. Plecas gets the feelings just right, allowing young readers to care about Olive and wonder why Eva and Emily are ignoring her. While the pen, ink and watercolor illustrations show every devastating emotion, children might have been better served if Olive was a bit less timid. Simply standing by and feeling sorry for oneself is not the best plan. Nevertheless, sticky social situations are a challenge, and this well-meaning offering will at least give youngsters a place to start thinking. Teachers looking for subtle stories of social cruelty will find this a discussion starter.
Bibliotherapy with its heart in the right place, though a little underdone. (Picture book. 3-8)