cover image Tiger and Badger

Tiger and Badger

Emily Jenkins, illus. by Marie-Louise Gay. Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636- 6604-0

Tiger and Badger love each other, but they argue a lot—loudly. Each wears a dramatic dress-up hat, and they play in a flowered meadow furnished with assorted chairs and a dresser. When Badger’s stuffed toy Bad Monkey gets stuck in a tree, the two become allies: “Okay. We can use my spatula,” says Badger. “And the books. And my chair,” adds Tiger, who holds Badger so she can flick Bad Monkey out of the tree. But soon it’s back to trouble as they clash about what to do next. “Tiger throws himself on the ground. He is so sad and mad.” Gay (the Stella and Sam series) uses delicate ink-and-wash drawings to find humor in all kinds of places, from the scribbled black clouds that hang over the heads of the friends when they’re angry to the movements of sky and birds that mirror the emotional flow of their exchanges. Jenkins (A Fine Dessert), meanwhile, nails the high-intensity, high-energy nature of Tiger and Badger’s friendship as her story zigzags from selfishness to sharing, offense to reconciliation, tantrum to teamwork. Ages 2–5. (Feb.)