Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Minh Lê ; illustrated by Dan Santat

Pub Date: April 30th, 2024
ISBN: 9780593569177
Publisher: Knopf

A friendship is built and tested.

Two friends are brought together with a “BANG” when they bump into each other, knocking over the block towers they were working on. The children, who both have warm beige skin and short black hair, leave their individual projects aside to let their imaginations run wild as they create together. The results are spectacular, if prone to disaster: Their Great Wall is dismantled by a Chinese lion, their lantern-lit boat is capsized by a dragon, and a monster levels their cityscape. Still, the friends seem to find as much joy in the destruction as the building of each new structure. Then they start a new construction, one meant to “stand the test of time.” When this, too, collapses, the friends find themselves at an impasse. Can they find a way forward together? Readers will have fun comparing the fantastical worlds the friends occupy with the cardboard-and-tape reality in which they are actually working. Onomatopoeic words are illustrated with force; “CRASH!” judders across the page, and “KABOOM” glows with intensity, promising a satisfying read-aloud experience. With inventive imagery and a relatable conflict, this is a winning selection for crowded storytimes and quiet bedtimes alike.

A playful and captivating tribute to imagination and friendship.

(Picture book. 3-7)