A boy and a girl with different ideas of imaginative play find middle ground.
Torrey returns with an all-too-familiar tale of two children who cannot agree on their pretend play during their play date. The debate begins amicably as the young girl suggests playing queen of the castle, but the boy counters with dinosaur role-playing instead. As their back and forth continues, the children become increasingly frustrated. Neither will back down, and the two decide to play on their own. After moments of parallel play, the two stretch their imaginations to create a world that caters to both of their ideas. Torrey’s text captures his young audience’s naturally exuberant dialogue. However, each child’s play suggestions stick closely to gender stereotypes. The girl suggests ballerinas and castles, while the boy prefers fire-breathing dragons and race cars. Expressive illustrations tell the story with barely any need for the accompanying text. Crayon drawings offer a preview of each child’s imagination, while each child’s body language and facial expressions allow for easy inference of the children’s moods. The palette is minimal: purple for what the girl imagines and green for the boy; except for color-coded clothing, the rest is black lines on white backgrounds.
A mostly delightful look at the importance of compromise among friends. (Picture book. 3-8)