Olive & Pekoe: In Four Short Walks

Jacky Davis, illus. by Giselle Potter. Greenwillow, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-257310-0
Davis (the Ladybug Girl series) and Potter (Independence Cake) celebrate a canine pair’s differences through four stories in this quiet picture book. Pekoe is a lolloping pup with boundless energy; Olive, Pekoe’s elderly dog friend, plods along behind him. The two walk a familiar path in the woods (“Pekoe adores playing with sticks... Olive prefers resting in the mud and grass”), get caught in a storm, meet a chipmunk (“Olive is not impressed.... Pekoe can’t believe how great it is that the world has chipmunks in it!”), and confront a mean bully at the dog park. In her characteristic paint-and-colored-pencil style, Potter pairs Pekoe’s frenetic leaps with Olive’s sedate poise, showing the two against the vibrant greens and chestnuts of woods, a yard, and a park. Pekoe’s youthful enthusiasm (“Pekoe cannot wait to meet another chipmunk”) and Olive’s hard-won wisdom (“Olive knows that there are many more chipmunks in the forest”) are equally beguiling. Despite their differences, they are loyal friends, focused on what’s most important: “It’s time for a snack!” The tales make for calming bedtime readalouds, all with the same peaceable message: dogs (and people) are who they are, no apologies necessary. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/17/2018
Release date: 03/01/2019
Genre: Children's
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