Odd-couple friends find the best in each another.
First, Monkey can’t pinpoint a good idea for a Halloween costume. His bemused pal reminds him that it’s June, but Monkey is nonetheless fixated on finding just the right disguise. In this story and in the three that follow, Robot is indulgent of his rather silly friend, and he’s clearly the brighter of the two. Graphite-and-ink illustrations lend a classic feel to the book while supporting characterization by underscoring the winning qualities of Monkey’s sweet nature. He refuses to swim at the beach since Robot cannot join him and then later exuberantly plants an acorn to grow an oak, so he can turn the tire he’s just found into a swing. In the prior instance, Robot rewards his friend’s loyalty by pretending to lose his shovel and asking Monkey to swim into the water to retrieve it; in the latter, he patiently helps Monkey understand that waiting for an oak tree to grow from an acorn will mean they won’t have a tire swing for quite some time. All is not lost, though, when they find another solution to this quandary. The collection concludes with a story quietly reminiscent of Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s Dog and Bear: Two’s Company (2009) as Robot wears himself out trying to gather things needed for breakfast.
A strong second outing in this new series for new readers. (Early reader. 6-8)