The best part of strolling through exhibit floor at the ALA Midwinter meeting is coming across little gems! In Dallas my treasure was Little Friends, a lovely easy reader by debut author/illustrator Onur Tukel, published by Marshall Cavendish.
Three seasons take the reader through the budding friendship of two girls and the boy across the street. Sara and Louisa are established friends. They live next door to each other and do everything together. Barry lives across the street. He likes to play with his puppet, and doesn’t say much to anyone at all. After an argument over a shared love of swinging from their special tree resolves, the three form a friendship based on their fondness of adventure and a gentle tolerance of each other’s differences.
Each of the three chapters gently pushes a different character center stage, and by the end they felt as real as the kids in my neighborhood. The colors change delightfully with the seasons; Browns shift to blue and white and finally green. Cartoon boxes keep the pace moving along with full page spreads drawing attention to the big moments. Marketed for ages 7-9, this book may be appreciated by readers who prefer kids instead of animals as their main characters. It’s also perfect as a read aloud or for kids who are ready for a little meatier vocabulary.
I hope Tukel has more stories about the Little Friends up his sleeve! If you can’t wait to see more from Tukel, check out what he’s done for grown-ups. Contact Youth Services to borrow the galley today.