Kabungo

Rolli, illus. by Milan Pavlovic. Groundwood (PGW, dist.), $14.95 (96p) ISBN 978-1-55498-804-4
With dry humor, a 10-year-old girl named Beverly narrates her episodic adventures with her 10-year-old best friend, Kabungo, who lives in a cave on Main Street. Rolli doesn’t dwell on how or why, exactly, a cavegirl ended up living in Star City—readers are just meant to accept it, as the town’s residents have done. Wisely, Rolli avoids giving Kabungo a stereotypical Neanderthal dialect; she sounds more like a toddler (she calls Beverly “Belly,” tiger is “targur”), playing into the sisterly way Beverly tries to teach her friend the alphabet and otherwise look after her. It’s a warm and rewarding account of a very unconventional friendship. Ages 7–10. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/29/2016
Release date: 04/01/2016
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