cover image Friends Beyond Measure

Friends Beyond Measure

Lalena Fisher. HarperCollins, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-0632-1052-3

Fisher, an infographics contributor to the New York Times, makes her solo debut with a friendship story chronicled through charts, graphs, and maps. When narrator Ana, an inveterate “charter” portrayed with brown skin, meets white-presenting Harwin at a fair, their commonalities and unique qualities become the subject of the book’s first chart, a Venn diagram that notes Ana’s ADHD and interest in medical science as well as Harwin’s dyslexia and appreciation of climbing trees. Subsequent spreads chronicle their deepening connection, using different kinds of visuals, each rendered in energetic pencil and marker cartooning: the x and y axis depicting tree-climbing skills are layered with the tree’s trunk and limbs, and a coordinate chart shows where Ana and Harwin intersect in terms of tolerance for loud, noisy parties. Learning that Harwin is moving “really far away,” Ana droops over an emotion-centric bar chart, and flowcharts the viability of being mailed to Harwin’s new home. But it’s possible to conceptualize probabilities as well as realities, and the book ends on a hopeful note, as the kids imagine what the future may hold in store—from virtual birthday parties to global, grown-up adventures. A glossary of charts with activities concludes this social-emotional dataviz accounting. Ages 4–8. Agent: Lara Perkins, Andrea Brown Literary. (Feb.)