Play with Me!

Play with Me! illus. by Michelle Lee. 32p. ebook available. Putnam. Jan. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399546013.
PreS-Gr 1—Pip, a piglet, and Nico, a bear cub, are good friends. Unfortunately, they have different ideas about how they want to play together. Pip arrives with a deluge of toys and ideas to entice his friend. He pulls out a baseball, stuffed animals, and a jump rope. Nico has no interest in these games but wants to play his cello. Pip is determined to find something that will tempt his buddy to drop the instrument and play with him. He suggests dressing up like heroes, magicians, or explorers. None of his ideas can persuade Nico to play with him. Pip is persistent and tries a game of hide-and-seek. He hides, but, sadly, no one does any seeking. Pip becomes so hurt that he decides to go home. Nico doesn't want to see his friend upset, so he comes up with a solution that may be acceptable to both parties. This is a fun book that teaches youngsters about compromising and the importance of being a good friend. The adorable illustrations are simple and allow readers to concentrate on the two playmates. The characters are delightful and animated and have appealing qualities. Pip is energetic and charming, while Nico is focused and caring. The story is told through dialogue. Two different fonts are used to easily distinguish which character is speaking.
VERDICT This tale about friendship and working together will be a welcome addition to medium and larger collections.

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