cover image Adventures


Patricia Lakin, illus. by Kirstie Edmunds. Dial, $16.99 (80p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3553-8

Lakin (the Max & Mo series) and Edmunds (The Monster Who Lost His Mean) introduce two energetic friends: Bruno (a squirrel) loves “going too fast, swinging too high,” while Lulu (a chipmunk who looks like a squirrel) prefers “to pretend, pretend, pretend.” Reminiscent of the format of Mo Willems’s Elephant & Piggie series, the text in this early reader consists of color-coded speech bubbles, letting the dialogue drive the action. In the first of two stories, Lulu and Bruno make pretend cupcakes in the sandbox after a group of cats refuse to share their real ones; in the second, Lulu tries to enliven her time-out on a playground bench with a guessing game, though literal-minded Bruno doesn’t make it easy. Edmunds’s digital cartooning capably brings these boisterous, wide-eyed friends to life, and she gives Bruno and Lulu a full, appealing world to play around in. The streamlined vocabulary, simple sentences, and word repetition are on-target for beginners, although genuine laughs are somewhat rare, and the friends’ back-and-forth miscommunications become repetitive. Ages 5–7. Illustrator’s agent: Teresa Kietlinski, Prospect Agency. (Apr.)