An elephant and a rhino can’t see eye to eye, but they eventually find a helpful middle ground.
Petal, a wide-eyed elephant sporting a flowery hat and cheery heart-printed dress, is thrilled her friend Poppy is not around so she can practice her tuba. Little does she know that Poppy, a rhino in a bikini, is sitting nearby, quietly reading. Disrupted by the music, Poppy declares it an opportune time to scuba dive. Petal worries about her friend and decides to join her on the boat. After her dive, when Poppy returns to the surface, she discovers the fog has rolled in, obscuring her boat. Happily, Petal’s resonant tuba serves as a foghorn and helps reunite the friends. The simple story with clear, bright art demonstrates that friends do not always need to agree and bobs along as buoyantly as sun across the water. Although a sweet and cheery pair, Petal and Poppy may not have enough oomph—be it laughs, silliness or a winning combination of the two—to stand out in an already glutted market of early-reader buddy stories. Still, readers beguiled by the elephant-rhino pals may want to check out their second tale, Petal and Poppy and the Penguin, publishing simultaneously.
A blithe and breezy charmer. (Graphic early reader. 4-8)