Friendships are always new at first, with moments full of uncertainty and potential.
On the opening endpapers, a bold illustration of a young girl with pale skin and red hair gazes at readers, inviting them into a story that, like her friendship, is just beginning. Turn the page and the perspective shifts, as readers become bystanders to a budding interaction with a second girl, also pale-skinned but with black hair and glasses. Simple, spare text that shifts easily from first to second person weaves the tale of this dynamic pair as they leap and swing through each other’s imaginations and discover likes and dislikes, complexities, and nuances that make a friendship solid. Their hug, at the emotional climax of the book, is portrayed up close, surrounded by dynamic lines that evoke the energy of the moment and juxtaposed with text that belies an inner uncertainty that can be common with meeting new people. Though they don’t yet know each other’s names, still these girls are kindred spirits. The closing illustration mirrors the opening one—the protagonist looking away from readers and toward her new buddy as each girl leaves with her caregiver. Tamaki depicts the girls in soft, round lines rendered in red and green colored pencil, which evokes an emotional resonance through the artwork.
A delightful new friendship portrayed in all its emergent, ebullient, and transformative ways. (Picture book. 3-7)