cover image Matthew and Tilly

Matthew and Tilly

Rebecca C. Jones. Dutton Books, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-525-44684-2

Matthew and Tilly live in the same neighborhood in the heart of a big city, and they do everything together: ride bikes, play street games, sell lemonade. But even the best of friends quarrel now and then--in this case, a broken purple crayon is the problem, and Matthew and Tilly go their separate ways. It is not long, though, before the two realize that everything is more fun when they have each other. Apologies come quickly and easily, and the two are ``together again.'' This is not an unfamiliar tale, but it is told here with simple eloquence and poignancy. Text and illustrations are beautifully balanced: Peck's depiction of Matthew, sitting dejectedly on the stairs of his apartment building, seems to make the words ``By himself'' ring with loneliness. There can never be too many books about the importance of friendship and forgiveness--especially when they are of this caliber. The fact that Matthew is white and Tilly is African-American adds further merit to this exemplary effort. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)