Lawrence & Sophia

Penguin/Rocky Pond. Oct. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593618301.
PreS-K–The world away from one’s home can be a scary place, and few creatures understand the fear of the unknown better than a man named Lawrence and a bird named Sophia. Though they live in the same general vicinity, it is not until Sophia bravely ventures to the end of a very long tree branch that she and Lawrence begin to see each other for the first time. Despite their fears, the two build an unlikely friendship, and when a storm hastily approaches, they do what they must, separately, to ensure the other is safe from harm. This charming picture book is a gentle reminder that everyone feels reservations sometimes, but with the right companion, bravery can take root. From the outset, a parallel structure in the storytelling will draw readers’ attention to the palpable similarities between Lawrence and Sophia despite outward differences. Because the text is relatively short, young readers will find this book highly approachable, and they will likewise enjoy examining the detailed illustrations. The images frequently say more than the words do, with subtle humor and occasionally interwoven between the words and the pictures, enhancing the appeal of the book. Soft, muted hues and texture-rich illustrations give the book an almost tactile quality.
VERDICT This enjoyable story of two unlikely friends who make each other brave is a good addition to library collections.

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