Friday, April 3, 2020

Review - Elmore and Pinky

Elmore and Pinky (Elmore #2)
by Holly Hobbie
Date: 2020
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

A prickly porcupine searches for a best friend in this sequel to Elmore from Toot & Puddle author Holly Hobbie.

Elmore the porcupine feels warm and comfortable in his neighborhood, and has many friends. But lately he has been feeling that he is missing someone, someone who will always be there -- a best friend. His uncle assures him that those kinds of friendships just happen over time, but determined Elmore goes out in search of one anyway. Then Elmore meets Pinky, a skunk who has a similar problem. Likely companions for Pinky are deterred because...well, he stinks! As the two commiserate and spend time together, they accept each other's shortcomings and develop what each of them wants most: a real friendship with a best friend.

Holly Hobbie tenderly renders these sweet and relatable characters in exquisite watercolor, and has us rooting for them to the end.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

On the surface, this is pretty cute. It's a simple story about a porcupine who's searching for a best friend. He finally finds one in Pinky, a skunk.

There are parts that I liked (like when Pinky's lamenting the fact that he stinks, and Elmore says, "Only in emergencies.") but also parts I didn't. Elmore's uncle tells him that there's a best friend for everyone. I can see that having unintended consequences when lonely children get their hopes up.

The illustrations are pretty cute. The animals are somewhat anthropomorphized, but are still very clearly animals (e.g., the mother bear wears her sunhat to go blueberry-picking, but she's still protective when it comes to her cub).

Overall, I'd probably recommend this to children who already have a best friend. It's a sweet celebration of friendship. Giving a book like this to kids who desperately want a best friend but don't have one, on the other hand, would be kind of cruel.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.33 out of 5

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