Yes & No

Roaring Brook. Apr. 2021. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250257338.
PreS–Dogs and cats, similar to siblings, can be glued at the hip or loose acquaintances. There are three voices in this picture book. Bold type tells readers that an owner/child is posing a question: “Are you both excited for the day?” Roman type shows the dog’s answer—“Yes I am excited”—while the cat’s answer is italics: “Hmpff.” This pattern meets everything asked, from the early morning to the late evening. The dog replies yes with lots of tail wagging to all questions and the cat responds with little movement and a simple no. The questioner wants the two to get along and play, but they seem to find their own mischief separately. The two are sent outside to play and to look after each other. The next pages are textless and show them enjoying each other’s company and the larger environment. Afterward, the two settle down for the evening and the day is done, at least for one of the pets. This book is so simple in terms of the storytelling, yet readers can easily relate to the characters and their feelings. Beautiful illustrations sometimes fill the entire page and other times spotlight two or more scenes. The illustrations can also move in unique directions across the page, which keeps the reader guessing and looking for what’s next. The story itself is simple and sweet in nature as we see the two main characters go from mildly interacting to fused together in their walk outside.
VERDICT A spare and wonderful addition to picture book collections.

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