cover image When Andy Met Sandy

When Andy Met Sandy

Tomie dePaola, with Jim Lewis, illus. by dePaola. Simon & Schuster, $8.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4814-4155-1

DePaola and Muppets writer Lewis kick off a picture-book series with a sunny story of first friendship, which follows a short, brown-skinned boy named Andy as he gets to know Sandy, a girl with round eyeglasses and a mop of curly red hair. The narrative bounces effortlessly between the children’s perspectives. “She is new here,” thinks Andy, as Sandy returns his gaze, wondering, “Is this his playground?” Rather than have the two connect instantly, dePaola and Lewis credibly portray each child’s tentativeness, while emphasizing what they have in common through parallel phrases. “I bet she has lots of friends,” thinks Andy; “I bet he wants to play by himself,” muses Sandy. After each child imagines the benefits of playing together, they enjoy a playground activity that requires trust and cooperation: a seesaw. The acrylic and colored-pencil illustrations are classic dePaola, with spare lines, rich colors, and facial expressions that transmit heaps of personality and heart. Short sentences, large type, and the early-reader trim size will give beginning readers’ confidence a boost. Simultaneously available: Andy & Sandy’s Anything Adventure. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)