­Feiwel & Friends. Feb. 2023. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250317179.
K-Gr 2–There is something familiar about Cordell’s book, and not just the style of art—sketchy line work, with warm earth tones washed over them—but the modern play with story and design broken up into digestible, short chapters, each reading like an Aesop-vignette where Evergreen, the squirrel we follow through Buckthorn Forrest, faces a scary obstacle she must overcome. With each chapter, Evergreen grows more confident, so that by the end, she is better able to predict and prepare for all possibilities. The interior pages start out looking like a chapter book, but the text is broken with exciting spreads, graphic novel–style layouts, and playfully illustrated text. These design decisions make this book feel new and familiar—a classic readers will be talking about in the future.
VERDICT Cordell never disappoints and never fails to surprise readers with his evergreen ability to take a story and make it feel fresh and timeless in one go.

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