Dill & Bizzy: An Odd Duck and a Strange Bird

illus. by Lisa Ericson. 40p. HarperCollins/Harper. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062304520.
PreS-Gr 2—Can an ordinary duck and a strange bird be the best of friends? This question drives the charming debut picture book. Dill, who adamantly proclaims that he is "not an odd duck," meets Bizzy, a strange bird who wishes to be friends with someone equally unusual. Throughout their incredible day of adventuring, including hot dog eating, dancing, and flying loop-the-loops, Dill and Bizzy learn that they are not as different as they first believed. The book explores the idea that everyone is eccentric in their own way by showing that Dill is quite goofy and not as typical as he claims. For example, when Bizzy states that she wishes Dill were an odd duck so they could go on a bike ride, Dill instead pulls out a unicycle. The action follows the same pattern, with Bizzy wishing to do an activity and Dill defying her expectations by doing it in his own way. This element of repetition in the simple, humorous text helps make it an effective read-aloud. Cartoon-inspired illustrations, with a bright palette of turquoise, pink, and yellow, convey motion and movement throughout Dill and Bizzy's adventure-filled day.
VERDICT A sweet and buoyant tale of friendship that celebrates being different and shows that everybody is a bit strange deep down.

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