cover image Ollie and Claire

Ollie and Claire

Tiffany Strelitz Haber, illus. by Matthew Cordell. Philomel, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-399-25603-5

Best friends Ollie and Claire have a real zest for life: the two dogs’ active routine includes yodeling, yoga, swimming, running, and “dinners of bologna on white, promptly at 7:15.” Can their friendship survive Claire’s thirst for even more adventure? It’s a desire she plans to satisfy by responding to an anonymous sign she sees posted in town: “Travel friend wanted for round-the-world journey!/ Come circle the planet with me!” Visions of exploration and discovery fill Claire’s head, but guilt about abandoning her friend soon sets in. Readers may suspect they know how this story is going to turn out, and they’d be right; Cordell (hello! hello!) even tucks in a few visual clues about the identity of the mystery adventurer into his typically energetic pencil-and-watercolor artwork. However, while the ending may not come as a surprise, Haber’s (The Monster Who Lost His Mean) rhymes are both metrically precise and delightfully original, conveying Claire’s growing enthusiasm and anxiety as her “trip of a lifetime” approaches. Ages 3–7. Author’s agent: Teresa Kietlinski, the Prospect Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Apr.)