Big and Little Are Best Friends

illus. by Michael Garland. 32p. Orchard. May 2017. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780545870979.
PreS-Gr 1—Big (an elephant) and Little (a mouse) are best friends who like different things. This title reads like a list of polar opposites. The lack of connection from page to page leaves the story without an arc, and readers won't have a compelling reason to believe in the bond between Big and Little—or that the friendship will work "for me and for you," as reads the last line of the book. However, Garland's familiar bright, eye-catching art ensures circulation in spite of the dull text. On the cover, Little holds an umbrella while standing atop Big's water-spraying trunk—a delightful image sure to entice young readers. But awkward rhymes ("Big and Little/are best of friends,/Though the things that they like/Are at opposite ends") and forced words ("Little plays loud,/Big plays mellow./Little likes blue,/Big likes yellow") prevent this selection from being a good read-aloud.
VERDICT Despite the colorful artwork, this offering remains an additional purchase at best.

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