cover image Yo! Yes?

Yo! Yes?

Chris Raschka, C. Raschka. Scholastic, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05469-7

Raschka's innovative picture book aims to explore the nature of friendship in only 34 words. It's a risk, but as a writer and artist Raschka is no stranger to risk-taking--his debut ( Charlie Parker Played Be Bop ) was a sly, joyous exercise in avant-garde that stretched the definition of picture book. And here, he does the same. After the briefest of exchanges, two boys--one black, one white, one shy, one outgoing, one nerdy, one street-smart--decide to take a chance on friendship. Like a two-character play with no scenery and minimal dialogue, the story relies on the expressiveness of the ``actors'' and the raw energy of the artwork to hook the reader. Raschka's watercolor and charcoal pencil illustrations certainly do the trick--they're brash, witty and offbeat, and easily portray a vigorous range of emotion. At least in the small realm of this cheeky picture book, less is definitely more. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)