Just Like Brothers

Elizabeth Baguley, illus. by Aurélie Blanz. Barefoot, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-78285-345-9
Warned against each other by their mothers, a boy and a wolf cub encounter each other in the forest and discover that the things they’ve been told aren’t true. While it’s easy to see where the story’s headed, Baguley’s fanciful language is anything but predictable. The boy and cub dismiss their respective parents’ instructions with the same offhandedness: “The brown-eyed child is moon-mind and shut-ear and he doesn’t listen to his mother.” The cub, “wag-tail and scamper-paw,” runs off after rabbits. The forest where they find each other is thickly painted by Blanz with tree trunks of purple, blue, and green. Long shadows underscore the forest’s menace, but when the two come face to face, flowers encircle the scene: “Then the child’s hand is gentle-reach. ‘You are soft-fur!’ he says. The cub’s snout is shy-sniff. ‘You are kind-touch!’ ” After fearing the worst, the mothers, witness to the friendship of their offspring, come to an understanding of their own. The discovery that strangers can grow to trust each other is a message that’s always worth repeating. Ages 3–7. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/15/2018
Release date: 03/01/2018
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-78285-346-6
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