cover image Budgie and Boo

Budgie and Boo

David McPhail, . . Abrams, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8109-8324-3

McPhail (When Sheep Sleep ) returns to themes of friendship and cooperation in this serene picture book, which is divided into four vignettes. Budgie, an overalls-clad bear, and Boo, a bunny in a vest and pants, share a cozy cottage and are able gardeners (“Boo's vegetables were the tastiest, and nobody grew flowers as beautiful as Budgie's”) and “the best of friends.” A leak that surfaces in the “Morning” section is fixed during “Afternoon,” and the pair takes a moonlight stroll in the final segment. In the story's funniest sequence, a well-intentioned Budgie brings Boo—who is attempting to fix the leaky roof—a rake, shovel and hoe before Boo exclaims, “This is a roof , not a garden ! What I need is a hammer and some nails.” Pastel hues dominate McPhail's pen and ink and watercolors, which reveal obvious mutual affection between the friends; bucolic spreads open each section. Though the text is somewhat pedestrian and the pacing occasionally jarring, the placid setting and characters' tender interactions make for a tranquil bedtime read. Ages 3–6. (Apr.)