cover image Sorry (Really Sorry)

Sorry (Really Sorry)

Joanna Cotler, illus. by Harry Bliss. Philomel, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-984-81247-6

At the farm where author and children’s book editor Cotler and artist Bliss’s (Good Rosie!) emotionally honest story is set, bad moods aren’t just contagious—they’re epidemic. Cow, made grumpy by muddy hooves, kicks some muck in Duck’s face; to add insult to injury, she says she did because “I felt like it.... And I’m not sorry.” Duck, now in an equally foul state, picks on Frog, who lashes out at Bird (“Your tweets stink!”), who turns on Goat. Pressed to apologize, they do, but not one is sincere. When Goat accidentally crashes into Pig and refuses to apologize, Pig breaks down (“SNORT SNORT WAAAHHHHH!!!!”). In steps Dog, who knows just what to do: let Pig cry it out, and remind her that they’re friends (“We eat lunch together every day”). Kindness breaks the chain, and apologies and tokens are offered all around before the friends head to the pond for some fun. The animals, rendered expressively by Bliss, learn what kids already know and adults too easily forget: the capacity to say “I’m sorry”—and mean it—is no small thing. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. Illustrator’s agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Apr.) [/em]