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The Art of Friendship

by Kelly Light ; illustrated by Kelly Light

Pub Date: June 14th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-06-234440-3
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Louise and Art are back, bright-eyed and excited about their new neighbor.

Louise clutches her drawing papers and bursts with hope that the new kid next door loves art as much as she does. Her little brother, Art (whose name’s affectionate double meaning was featured in Louise Loves Art, 2014), is eager too. They’re in luck: Andie, despite half-mast eyelids implying reticence or blasé posturing in contrast to Louise’s and Art’s wide-eyed earnestness, is an artist as well. Details such as pop-art dog portraits and a pyramid of Campbell’s soup cans invoking retro advertisements create energy and spark, even for readers who don’t know the references. The three pink-skinned kids gleefully draw and paint together, squabble, separate, and ultimately resolve the dispute with, fittingly, more art. Their round-framed eyeglasses—Louise wears red frames with clear glass, while Andie wears black frames with blue glass—figure heavily in the artistic solution to their fight. Light uses black pencils and mostly red, blue, and gray digital coloring in her inventively composed spreads. In one, 13 scenes of the characters scatter across a double-page spread, each on its own piece of drawing paper. In another, readers have a (roughly) floor’s-eye view of the girls propped upside down, heads on the floor, legs on the bed, while Art dangles beside them.

Visually sophisticated in a totally accessible way.

(Picture book. 3-6)