THE PERFECT FRIEND by Yelena Romanova


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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Archie the dog longs for a friend to play with, a real friend who would play ball, not like the goldfish, turtle or rabbit his parents got him. So when his human family leaves one morning promising a surprise when they return, he’s hopeful, but the wriggling, snuffling bundle in a cradle is not the surprise he wanted. When baby Max gets all the attention, Archie misbehaves, peeing in a shoe and climbing high for a snack. As Max gets bigger, Archie feels smaller and smaller. When his family finally notices, Grandma plays the piano for him, Grandpa teaches him chess, father takes him bicycling and mother performs a puppet show. But there’s still one thing missing—a friend, until Max becomes the perfect one. This husband-wife collaboration is cleverly appealing; Kulikov’s capricious illustrations accentuate the humor with offbeat details and perspectives (through a fish bowl; underneath the table legs). The charm is in the child-like behavior of dog Archie; adults will grin at the wry twist on “dog is man’s best friend,” and kids will love Archie in his flower-print shorts and expressive, big floppy ears. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 2005
ISBN: 0-374-35821-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2005


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