A charming friendship story with spare, witty text and that packs a visual punch.
Bold lines and simple, earth-tone backgrounds set the stage for two energetic characters to take turns stealing the scene on each double-page spread, hooking readers immediately. The giraffe and bird protagonists can’t seem to get along. They make funny faces at each other, spit, slurp, and smack their lips—all familiar taunting tactics to young readers. These quarrels escalate, even after a brief separation, eventually culminating in a visually impressive, whopping brawl, with limbs and feathers all akimbo. One wonders whether these two will ever find a way to get along. Perfect read-aloud moments on each spread feature onomatopoeic words and delicious sounds. Slight plot missteps include a moment of seeming détente when the giraffe goes to work for the telephone company to bring the bird back only to fight with him once again, an unexpected direction for a seemingly expected story. But: “It’s true that getting along can be difficult.” Things aren’t simply resolved after a rainstorm; these two characters require their own storm to discover that they need each other after all. Vivid, textured illustrations add an extra level of hilarity to the story in a cartoon-style layout that will appeal to pre-readers looking for visual clues for comprehension.
This story will ring true for young readers familiar with playground politics and shifting friendships. (Picture book. 3-7)