cover image Peanut Butter and Jellyfish

Peanut Butter and Jellyfish

Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Knopf, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-375-87036-1

Two friends take the high road and aid an undersea antagonist in this gentle-natured adventure. Peanut Butter, a smiley yellow seahorse, and his equally cheery best bud Jellyfish love swimming and exploring the ocean. Unfortunately, their outings are usually interrupted by Crabby, a crab who pelts them with insults (“I’ve seen sea snails swim with more style”). When Crabby gets swept up in a lobster trap, Peanut Butter and Jellfyish feel compelled to help and gain a new pal in the process. Krosoczka (the Punk Farm books) gives his characters universal emotions that preschoolers will easily relate to, from Jellyfish’s huffy declaration that “Driftwood and sea stones may break our bones...” to Crabby’s abashed apology. The artwork—acrylic paintings digitally assembled into collages full of heavily brushstroked currents and brightly colored kelps—create an inviting underwater landscape. “It was on the ocean floor that they found their greatest treasure!” writes Krosoczka in closing, letting readers decide whether that means friendship (aww) or the actual chest of gold the friends romp around in as the story ends. Ages 3–7. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Apr.)