Otis & Peanut

Owlkids. (Otis & Peanut: Bk. 1). Apr. 2023. 80p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781771474962.
Gr 2 Up–Otis the long-haired guinea pig and Peanut the naked mole rat are friends who get to know each other better through the three stories in this book. Each story is slow-paced and thoughtful and provides gentle treatment of tough topics like coping with loss and being afraid of change. In “The Haircut,” “The Swing,” and “The House,” Otis and Peanut deal with small conflicts and obstacles by talking through them, and by the end of each story they’ve come to a better understanding of each other. In each story, the characters learn together that some problems can be easily solved (making a house feel like a home) while others never fully go away (missing someone who’s gone). Collier’s artwork is bold and eye-catching, using vibrant colors like yellow, turquoise, and red. But the illustrations are also powerful in smaller ways, like in the characters’ changing expressions.
VERDICT For kids who enjoy sweet, sensitive, and heartfelt stories about friendship and trust.

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