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Monday, June 6, 2016

Buddy and Earl Go Exploring, written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Carey Sookocheff. Groundwood, 2016. $ 16.95 ages 5 and up

"They hadn't gone far
before Earl saw something
amazing. "Look, Buddy -
a silvery lake in the shadow
of a great mountain!" he
exclaimed. "That is my new
water dish in the shadow
of the garbage pail, "
said Buddy. "Last one
in is a rotten egg!" whooped
Earl ... "

It's great to see Buddy and Earl again so soon. I had great fun sharing their first book in classrooms this spring. The storytelling is smart and humorous, and kids loved hearing the misunderstandings the two shared. This second story happens at night, after everyone else is in bed. Buddy has had a busy day and is ready for rest. Earl is on a totally different page. He has big plans for the middle of the night

He convinces Buddy that a voyage is a worthy pursuit. Off the two go to grapple with all the dangers of the kitchen, including the garbage can, water bowl, a purse and even a vacuum cleaner. Earl is definitely the leader, while Buddy follows with some concern for the way things are going. Earl is enthusiastic and up for every perceived adventure. Buddy is great company and willing to attempt to look at the world that Earl sees.

They are an unlikely pair, but they are great friends. The impending dangers of adventure do not deter Buddy. He sees their world as the audience sees it, knowing that the water dish is not really the lake Earl envisages. He suspends his own intuition to be Earl's partner. In the end, when the kitchen looks like a cyclone hit it and both pets have found comfort in their usual places for a good night's rest, the family is left to ponder what events might have led to such chaos overnight.

Carey Sookocheff creates illustrations that help the audience see what is really happening from both sides of the escapades. She uses shades of night: brown, grey, purple and blue. They manage to convey the normalcy of the family kitchen, as well as the grand adventures conjured in Earl's mind. The young reader's understanding of all that is happening in the art is very effective for discussing visual literacy with children.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a fun book! Thanks for sharing! Earl sounds like my kind of guy!:D