Pea, Bee, & Jay: Stuck Together

HarperAlley. (Pea, Bee, & Jay). Sept. 2020. 64p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780062981172.
Gr 2-4–An unlikely traveler, a tiny pea, rolls away from his farm home after an ill-intentioned dare by a mean strawberry. Due to a brief downpour, he finds himself farther afield than intended, and to make his way home he tentatively enlists the help of a misfit bee and a blue jay who has yet to learn to fly. This small-scale odyssey emphasizes the virtues of unlikely friendship, teamwork, and bravery. Just as Pea’s journey begins without any particular rhyme or reason, so, too, does it merrily roll along to a satisfying conclusion. Colorful, cartoonish natural surroundings seen from a pea’s-eye view, the antics of the hapless trio bumbling along together, and a heavy dollop of whimsy result in just the ticket for a cozy kid’s read.
VERDICT Though the text is a little too dense for early elementary schoolers to read on their own, slightly older students will snatch this one up. Funny, punny, fearless, and even corny, Smith is a master wordsmith with an innate sense of what makes children chuckle.

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