Saturday, November 17, 2018

Review - Are We Still Friends?

Are We Still Friends?
by Ruth Horowitz
illustrated by Blanca Gómez
Date: 2017
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

Beatrice and Abel are the finest of friends. Beatrice raises bees. Abel grows apples. In summer, they gather sticky, sweet honey together, and in fall, they harvest ripe, red fruit. They make a perfect pair in every season, and so do the bees and the trees.

Until one spring morning, Abel startles a bee--ZING!--and gets stung. "WHEE HEE HEE!" he cries. But Beatrice hears only the silly sounds and laughs. OUCH! Is their friendship strong and steady enough to weather the stinging words and messy quarrel that stem from misunderstanding?

Friendship and nature form the perfect pair in this warm and winsome celebration of teamwork, ecology, and the art of saying "I'm sorry."

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Are We Still Friends? is a simple story about a misunderstanding between Beatrice and Abel, a bear and a mouse. After their fight escalates, they both realize what's truly important and end up apologizing.

I wasn't that enamoured with this book, though I can't quite put my finger on why. Maybe it's the overly simple story; it lacks nuance, and the resolution is a little too quick and pat. Or maybe the illustrations didn't capture my imagination. I like how Beatrice and Abel raise bees and apples, and share the bounty with each other, but that wasn't enough to make me fall in love with the story.

I'm reminded of another book with a similar premise: What James Said by Liz Rosenberg. It's more realistic, and I love the illustrations. I think I'd recommend that book over this one if you're looking for a book about misunderstandings and apologies.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.67 out of 5

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