cover image Sylvie & True

Sylvie & True

David M. McPhail, . . Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $15 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-374-37364-1

In four breezy vignettes, McPhail (Mole Music ) spotlights everyday moments that spell true friendship for two unlikely roommates—a rabbit and a giant water snake. When readers first meet them, both are sound asleep: Sylvie snuggled in her bed, a portrait of her mother watching over her; and True submerged in a full bathtub, her nose and the tip of her tail sticking out. The other scenarios are equally simple (True, no expert in the kitchen, burns dinner; the two go bowling; bedtime rolls around), occasioning affectionate dialogue and terrific sight gags. Resembling an inflatable beach toy, True wraps her long body around the fridge and tilts it to empty its contents, containers and all, into a large pot when fixing the ill-fated supper. At the bowling lanes, she balances herself on enormous bowling shoes, then easily scores a strike by stretching herself down the alley, dropping the ball from her mouth. Sylvie, a maternal type who does the cooking and reads stories aloud at night, protests only feebly that True has moved over the line, and when True wins, as always, happily says that she’s had fun. The pacing of the narratives, as well as the last vignette which ends as the two friends bid each other good night, helps this charmer do double-duty as a bedtime book. Ages 4-up. (Nov.)