cover image The Friend Ship

The Friend Ship

Kat Yeh, illus. by Chuck Groenink. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4847-0726-5

As Hedgehog lies in a “lonely little nook of a lonely little tree,” she hears someone say, “Friendship is out there—all she has to do is look.” She thinks friendship is a real ship—Groenink (Rufus the Writer) supplies a sepia-toned diagram of its masts and sails—and sets off in her own ship to find it. Everywhere Hedgehog lands, she asks animals if they’ve seen the Friend Ship. They always say no but eagerly board her ship to join in the search. Children will readily realize that Hedgehog’s ship is the Friend Ship, but the animals keep searching. Eventually, Yeh (The Truth About Twinkie Pie) assures readers, they’ll find what they are looking for, “Yes, yes, yes, yes-yessity-yes.” Groenink’s animals radiate sweetness, but it’s the aura of his vignettes and spreads that draws the eye. Warm sunsets glow like polished wood, and starlight gleams from skies of Prussian blue. The depth and quality of the light gives the spreads a hint of the sacred—just right for this hymn to friendship. Ages 3–5. Author’s agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Dec.)