Toot & Puddle

Holly Hobbie, Author Little, Brown Books for Young Readers $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-316-36552-9
In this charming, sweetly illustrated debut picture book, home was ""such a perfect place to be that Puddle never wanted to go anywhere else. Toot, on the other hand, loved to take trips."" So in January when Toot goes on his ""biggest trip ever,"" Puddle happily stays home to enjoy the snow and go ice-skating. What follows is a kind of piggy calendar as Toot's monthly postcards are juxtaposed with illustrations of Puddle's homespun activities. Toot writes, ""Egypt is awesome. The pyramids are the greatest. Wish you could meet me at the oasis,"" and Puddle back home wishes ""Toot were there to taste the pancakes."" When Toot returns home in December, Puddle salutes Toot's ""adventures around the world,"" and Toot drinks to Puddle's ""adventures right at home."" Although the story at times seems to oscillate between a traditional story narrative (e.g., ""Yes, Puddle missed his friend"") to a text that occasionally resembles picture labels (e.g.,""Meanwhile... presenting Puddle at Pocket Pond!""), the parallel stories highlight seasonal activities familiar to children (and tourist spots familiar to adults). Hobbie's detailed watercolors are reminiscent of Helen Oxenbury or Lynn Munsinger, crammed with clever and humorous details (e.g., a mountain ram crowding out a Mont Blanc-climbing Toot). Children will be reassured by the message that friends can have different interests and still enjoy one another. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
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