Tilly and Tank

illus. by Jay Fleck. 48p. Tundra. Jan. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781101917862.
PreS-Gr 2—Retro illustrations add flower-power flavor to this tale of peace and friendship. While out for a walk, Tilly the elephant spots a familiar shape in the distance—but what appears to be the silhouette of another elephant turns out to be the barrel and turret of Tank. Tank, who is just what his name implies, turns his viewfinder on Tillie and mistakes her for the enemy, resulting in a startling loud alarm. Each character has a unique voice: while Tillie "takes a morning stroll," Tank is "on his morning patrol" when he detects her in his viewfinder. Children will be amused by comparing the "anatomy" of the elephant and the tank. Raucous noises abound to liven up storytelling. With a limited palette rooted in earth tones, digitally colored pencil illustrations by the author add to the vintage vibe of the book, reminiscent of peace movement imagery of the 1960's and 70's. The ending is positive if predictable. This story may prove helpful in opening up conversations about first impressions, respecting differences, and giving someone the benefit of the doubt.
VERDICT Libraries interested in expanding their picture book collection on themes of friendship and social good may want to consider this title. A perfect read-aloud to share one-on-one or in a small group setting.

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