Animal Picturebooks About Friendship: Yak and Dove by Kyo Maclear

A Unique Short Story Set-Up: One of many great animal picturebooks about friendship, Maclear’s Yak and Dove does not disappoint. Told in three different short stories, children fight and love along with Yak and Dove.  Similarly to Shireen’s, Yeti and the Bird, Yak and Dove are unlikely friends.  They must learn to embrace their seemingly large differences in the most endearing way. Laugh out loud as Yak and Dove begin their story by contemplating what it would be like if they were twins.  Concluding in an obvious fight of opposites, their feud carries over to a second story. Above all, Yak wants a new friend who values fine music and furriness.  Does he have that respectful relationship with Dove?  Realistically Yak must learn to appreciate the friend he already has.   True to Maclear’s Beautiful Style: By the third story, the plot takes a calmer change of pace.  Yak and…

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Review: The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

Suzy and Franny are growing apart as Franny starts hanging out with the popular crowd and caring more about cute boys. Suzy, the more bookish of the two, decides to retaliate against Franny’s cruel actions. Unfortunately, Suzy is never able to explain her disgusting actions and finds herself not only grief stricken but also feeling sickeningly guilty because Franny drowns while on vacation. Suzy refuses to talk to anyone: her parents, brother, therapist, and lab partner. Written with science report-like overtones, Suzy becomes obsessed with finding out the cause of Franny’s death and ultimately decides that a deadly Australian jellyfish has stung and killed her friend. Determined to prove this theory to herself as well as everyone else, Suzy seeks out the advice of experts, one in particular named Jamie. The Thing About Jellyfish is a National Book Award finalist. With themes of grief, growing up, and mental illness, fourth…

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