cover image THE BOYS TEAM


Amy Schwartz, . . Atheneum/Jackson, $16.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-689-84138-5

"We're the Boys Team,/ We three./ Oscar,/ Eddie/ And me," opens Schwartz's (Bea and Mr. Jones) breezy, spot-on depiction of the close friendship shared by a trio of kindergartners. The young narrator relays the trio's antics in playful, intermittently rhyming snippets of verse with a staccato tone: "We eat pizza/ For our lunch./ Apple juice,/ And Cap'n Crunch./ We love lunch!/ We hate nap!/ We never sleep!/ We never fight!" Well, sometimes they do, he concedes on the next page, describing a slight altercation with Eddie that gets them both "benched." As he careens from one topic to the other with a free association anyone familiar with five-year-olds will recognize, the child displays diverting imagination. When the teacher asks her students to name their pets, for instance, the boy answers that he has 39 goldfish and a parrot, then admits that he doesn't actually have any pets, but those are the pets that he would have if he did have any. And he drolly one-ups Oscar, who's going skiing for Christmas vacation, when the hero responds that he is going "Head gliding": "It's where/ You put skis/ On your head./ Then,/ You stand on your head./ And ski." Schwartz's cheerful watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations reveal these affable youngsters in constant, quite credible, motion. A lighthearted read-aloud for preschoolers. Ages 3-6. (Oct.)