Review: Better Together
Better Together by Sheryl and Simon Shapiro. Illustrated by Dusan Petricic. Annick Press, 2011 (978-1-55451-278-2) $8.95 pb
This picture book about combining and mixing is aptly named. Most of the short verses aren't that interesting on their own, but add in the thoughtful or mischievous children in the pen & ink illustrations and they get some much needed verve. I particularly liked "Mud":
Sprayed out a rainbow,
water caused a flood.
Mixed with the dirt,
made slippery mud.
Slid in the puddle,
fell on my bum!
Got a little dirty --
don't tell mum!
The accompanying picture shows a completely mud-covered girl shushing us as she slips past her unsuspecting mother's back.
On a sweeter note, the illustration for "Team" shows three children, with their worst sports weaknesses depicted on the backs of their jerseys; when they come together as a team, we see the fronts display their greatest strengths.
Parents will most likely appreciate this book for the innovative concept and multicultural cast. (And for those who seek out depictions of biracial families or little kids using the toilet, put this on your list.) Kids may like it for the emphasis on the messy and the silly, and the heartfelt emotions we see in the pictures. (4-8)
© 2011 Wendy E. Betts
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