Cozy in Love

Putnam. Nov. 2022. 32p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780593109854.
K-Gr 2–Filled with descriptive candor and Brett’s riveting, distinctive illustrative style, the kindhearted musk ox bull Cozy returns in this exciting companion story that proves how strength of heart is beloved by all. Though disappointed he could not win the attention of Lofti, the lovely musk ox he admires, in a traditional horn boss-bashing contest, Cozy does not hesitate to act when Puffin brings news of the danger his friend Bella the beluga whale faces when her icy inlet begins to freeze over. Little does Cozy know that Lofti sees his quick-thinking and care for his friend, impressing readers with the value of acting out of compassion without the ambition for attention and inspiring discussion about good deeds. In richly detailed lifelike forms and textures, Brett’s meticulous applications of gouache and watercolor render astonishing illustrations of the vast, blue-gray toned Alaskan landscape, inhabited by expressive story characters. Swooping puffins, cresting waves, and even Cozy’s agitated fur all contribute a sense of urgency in the sequence of movement in the race against the relentless ice formation. Brett’s trademark framing of the main illustrations, including side windows displaying alternate perspectives of those watching Bella’s peril and Cozy’s response, draws readers closer to the wild, nearly tangible elements of nature.
VERDICT Awe-inspiring detail of the frigid Alaskan landscape and its creatures will enchant readers as they follow Cozy. This is essential for any collection and a gratifying read-aloud.

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