cover image Nothing in Common

Nothing in Common

Kate Hoefler, illus. by Corinna Luyken. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-544-77478-0

She’s a girl with long straight hair; he’s a boy with a quiff. Luyken (My Heart) draws the two with simple, wistful lines. Their apartment windows face each other, but “they had nothing in common, so they never waved,” Hoefler (Rabbit and the Motorbike) explains. They’re fascinated by the same elderly neighbor and his jaunty white terrier, however: “The dog could do marvelous things. And did. Things they felt under the floors of their hearts.” One day, the old man loses his dog (“Neither had ever seen an old man cry”), and the two act on the same impulse: “They both went out with binoculars and a helmet for thinking.” Rescuing the pup reveals that they have quite a lot in common. Lilting prose by Hoefler sustains an atmosphere of poignant vulnerability. Against a backdrop of misty paint swirls, wistful vignettes in reds, whites, and blues linger on the old man’s kind face and the dog’s intrepid curiosity. The tale reads as much fanciful rom-com as children’s story, but readers young and old will understand that love is what draws people together. Ages 4–7. Agent for author and illustrator: Steven Malk, Writers House. [em](Sept.) [/em]