Skunk and Badger

Algonquin. (Skunk and Badger: Bk. 1). Sept. 2020. 136p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781643750057.
Gr 2-5–Badger is a quiet, solitary geologist intent on his important rock work. Skunk is an outgoing, friendly, unwelcome new roommate. They have nothing in common. Aunt Lula must have been crazy to suggest it—this is never going to work out. But, the more time they spend together, the more they learn about each other. Maybe they have more in common than they realized, and maybe being roommates is just what they both needed. And who knew chickens were such conversationalists and story lovers? In a classic odd-couple pairing, Badger and Skunk show how opposites attract and that making friends means opening yourself up to possibilities. Finding the things that we share is much harder than seeing the ways we are different. Badger is a bit testy and grumpy, while Skunk is prone to leap before he looks—but together they are a fun duo who complement each other. Clear themes of tolerance, friendship, and understanding drive the story in a way that children will respond to. The subtle nod to unemployment and potential homelessness that begins the story provides opportunities to expand learning and compassion.
VERDICT Overall, a sweet unlikely friendship story that would be a welcome addition to any elementary or public library.

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