Haylee and Comet: A Tale of Cosmic Friendship

Roaring Brook. (Haylee and Comet: Bk. 1). Jun. 2021. 72p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250774392.
K-Gr 3–Haylee, a white girl with wide-set eyes and a star barrette in her short hair, makes wishes on everything, especially falling stars. She is overjoyed when a lively comet falls into her arms, each of them having wished for a friend, and together, they build a Friend Ship (the back half is a rocket; the front half is a boat). Despite their different origins, Haylee and Comet share a similar sensibility, as well matched as the pals in Dan Santat’s The Adventures of Beekle. Kind and open-minded, both look at the world with wonder (“Maybe Earth is magic”) and forgive each other for mistakes. Marcero’s (In a Jar) blue and sunshine-yellow palette is similar to the color scheme of Ben Clanton’s “Narwhal and Jelly” series. Most pages contain three to five comic panels, though some pages feature a single full-bleed illustration; the overall impression is spacious and inviting for emerging readers. An “Extra!” section at the end relates information about comets in general and Halley’s comet in particular. In the book’s final pages, the phrase “The End” is crossed out and replaced with “The Beginning.” Readers are likely to wish on a falling star for more installments about the duo.
VERDICT This amusing, wish-come-true tale has plenty of heart; recommended for all children’s collections.

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