Forsythia & Me: A Book About Two Amazing Friends

Vincent X. Kirsch, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-32438-4
The narrator's best friend puts the word "accomplished" to shame. Forsythia can play a piano concerto backwards standing on her head and can paint a royal portrait "from memory with a blindfold on." Her adoring devotee, Chester, a boy dressed like Little Lord Fauntleroy, never grows envious or weary of Forsythia's talents: in every illustration in the first half of this book, he can be seen smiling and admiring, happy with life on the sidelines. But when Forsythia gets so sick that she "had to cancel her sold-out spectacular figure-skating show," Chester's efforts to make her feel better prove that he has talents of his own, albeit comparatively modest ones. Kirsch's (Two Little Boys from Toolittle Toys) spindly ink drawings and lavish detailing (Forsythia's bedroom curtains are splendiferous with individually drawn flowers), along with Forsythia's preposterous achievements, evince an appealingly batty aesthetic. But while readers will almost certainly know peers who are über-talented, they'll get little sense of why Forsythia appreciates the narrator as anything other than a one-man entourage, and it's tough to determine which character better fits the description of "too good to be true." Ages 4–8. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
Ebook - 40 pages - 978-1-4299-9122-3
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