On the Night of the Shooting Star

illus. by Jenni Desmond. 32p. Candlewick. Sept. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763691547.
PreS-K—A simple, soft, and endearing story of friendship about neighbors who live on opposites sides of a white picket fence. Bunny drinks lots of cocoa, plants carrots, and peeks at Dog, while Dog eats biscuits, plays with his ball, and wonders about Bunny. Seasons come and seasons go, but the neighbors never say hello to each other. Until, on one sleepless night, both Bunny and Dog simultaneously witness a shooting star, and a new friendship ignites. Hest's narrative line is concise and clear and possesses a magical quality matched by Desmond's airy, muted watercolor and mixed-media illustrations. The characters are dynamic, and full-page images and small vignettes alike are playfully imagined with charming details that readers will enjoy viewing again and again.
VERDICT Enchantingly fresh, this lighthearted tale of friendship deserves a place in every picture book collection. Pair with Beth Ferry's Stick and Stone or Cynthia Rylant's "Mr. Putter and Tabby" series for stories that inspire kindness and neighborliness and that value the warm comfort of finding a friend.

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