Monday, November 21, 2011
I Like You the Best, written and illustrated by Carol Thompson. Holiday House, Thomas Allen & Son, 2011. $19.95 ages 3 and up
My tail is rounder than yours.
I like you this much.
I like you more!
I like your hair, Dolly.
I adore your Dolly walk.
Such a fine face, Jack Rabbit.
I like you the best!"
Dolly and Jack are the best of friends. They love to do everything together. They are much, much happier together than they are apart. They can be noisy or quiet, funny or sad; but together, it's always better!
When the daily activity is portraiture, Dolly and Jack draw each other. Things do not go well:
"You made me look like a lumpy pumpkin!
You made my ears look like slimy slugs!"
Oh boy, are they MAD! They each stomp away from the 'fun' and are determined that the friendship is kaput! Have you been there, or can you remember? I have to look back for a long time to the last fight I had with a friend. We all have those memories, don't we? Most of the time we cannot even remember what the starting point fro the argument was. The children who read this book, or to whom it is read, are likely to have stories to share of times when they 'fell out' with a best friend, too.
Along with feeling anger and disappointment, the two friends also experience longing and sadness. They do what they can to assuage those feelings. They try thinking of other things they love, but the images soon turn to their friend. They offer many ways of coping to their readers. Nothing works well for them.
When each seeks solace in their own 'best place' they find it inhabited by the other. They willingly agree that the missing of the other's company is worrisome. Yoga and massage help even more. Their friendship reestablished, they can finally 'chill out' TOGETHER.
Young readers will enjoy the images created for this simple, emotional story. You can see and hear the door slam, and experience the sadness of each character at the loss of a dear friend. Their joyful reunion is awash in bright light, and hope.