cover image I Like You the Best

I Like You the Best

Carol Thompson, Holiday House, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-2341-5

Meet Dolly the pig and Jack the rabbit: "best friend[s] in all the world" who adore each other. "I like your hair, Dolly," says Jack with the mien of a true aesthete. "I adore your Dolly walk." Dolly responds in kind: "Such a fine face, Jack Rabbit" ("I know," responds Jack). The friendship hits a rough patch when their portraits of the other are perhaps too honest (Jack makes Dolly look like "a lumpy pumpkin," while Jack feels his ears have been captured as "slimy slugs"), but readers will deduce straight away that this theatrical pair can't bear being away from each other for too long. Thompson (Thunder-Boomer) can't let it rest, however, presenting a surprisingly pedagogic explanation of how Dolly and Jack overcome their feelings, thanks to some basic meditative skills ("Dolly takes a deep breath. All the way in and all the way out"). Fortunately, Thompson's drawings, mostly spot images, are gems. Smudgy and rough-edged, they have a sketchbooklike immediacy and eloquently articulate two personalities who like to turn the emotional dial up to 11. Ages 3–6. (Feb.)