Andy & Sandy and the Big Talent Show

illus. by Tomie dePaola.32p. (An Andy & Sandy Book). ebook available. S. & S. Jun. 2017. Tr $8.99. ISBN 9781481479479. POP
K-Gr 2—The fourth installment of the series shows a more tender side of friendship. Sandy is encouraging Andy to join her in the talent show, but Andy is uncertain as to what kind of talent he has to offer. Sandy seems to be able to do it all; she can juggle, tumble, and hula hoop, but Andy can't do any of those things. Sandy comes up with the idea that they dance. She tells Andy to "follow me," and the next few pages show Andy trying to do just that, with Sandy taking the lead. On the day of the talent show, Sandy gets stage fright, but Andy saves the day by making it seem like part of a comedic act, telling Sandy to "follow me." The subsequent wordless sequential panels bring readers into the humor of the moment, emphasizing that this is a story of two supportive friends who have each other's backs. DePaola's classic acrylic and colored pencil illustrations with rich colors and spare lines have plenty of action and facial expressions, giving necessary textual clues to emerging readers.
VERDICT This title should have a welcome home in most beginning reader collections.

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