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One Cool Friend

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  • Posted August 8, 2013

    Elliot loves to dress to impress.  He loves formal wear and is a

    Elliot loves to dress to impress.  He loves formal wear and is always impeccable no matter where he goes.   One day his father suggests they get away from their normal routine and attend a Family Fun Day at the local aquarium.  Elliot who doesn't like crowds, and especially noisy kids, is too polite to refuse the invitation so he graciously accepts and says, "Of course.  Thank you for inviting me."  His father sits down and reads a magazine at the aquarium (so much for father/son bonding time) while Elliot takes off by himself to explore the many exhibits.   While on his journey of discovery he stumbles upon the Magellanic penguins area.  He instantly identifies with their elegance and their tuxedo-attired (just made that word up)  black and white wardrobe.  Elliot seeks out his father and asks if he could possibly have a penguin for himself.  His father thinking Elliot wants a stuffed penguin, agrees and hands him over twenty dollars, while he remains sitting and looking at pictures of plush penguins.  Elliot has other ideas...he is going for the real deal.  He finds the smallest penguin in the group, gives him the name Magellan, and quickly steals him away from the rest,  stuffing him in his red backpack and then taking off.  When he finally reaches home Elliot busies himself trying to make his new pet comfortable and feel right at home.  He tries making him anchovy pizzas, fills the bathtub with ice cold water for him and even makes him his own skating rink to play on.  His father encourages Elliot to take a trip to the library to research how to best look after Magellan and adds, "When I was in third grade, I got Captain Cook."  The book ends on a funny, twisted note which I will not spoil here.  When you read it you will chuckle I am sure. 




    The story is humorous and fun.  Elliott seems tuned in to life around him but his father seems to be oblivious to what is happening around him or to what his son is up to.  Small's hand drawn illustrations are created out of pen and ink, ink wash, water-colour, and colour pencils.   The expressions and emotions are so well captured and executed that they bring the text alive.  All in all it is a cute simple story that kids can identify with and would make a great read aloud. 

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  • Posted March 1, 2013

    Cool Ending--Must Check it Out

    The illustrations are unique; almost totally in black and white. The story leaves you guessing. You never know which way its' going to take you. The ending is surprising. The kids will love it.

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  • Posted January 12, 2012

    Highly recommended. Lots of fun word play. Great read aloud.

    This book is loaded with lots of fun word play. Our very proper and polite young main character, Elliot, is invited by his father to family day at the aquarium. Elliot is quite an explorer. Not wanting to follow the crowd, he goes off to discover penguins and is totally intrigued. He asks his father if he can have a penguin and then the real fun of this story begins. Lots of misunderstandings later the reader is delighted in a great surprise ending. This is one that will be asked for over and over. David Small's playful illustrations put the finishing touches on this great new picture book by an author who has given us so many great books to engage students in the library. Check out Toni's website for the companion theater script for One Cool Friend!

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  • Posted January 12, 2012

    One Cool Book!

    What makes a great picture book? Lots of action, subtle hints of a mystery, clear compassion for others, and a story that keeps you thinking once you are through reading. That’s what Toni Buzzeo’s new book, One Cool Friend, is all about! It’s a great flip – flopping whopper of a tale! But really, it is Elliot’s lucky day. His father is taking him to the aquarium! While his father is absorbed in his National Geographic, Elliot takes off exploring. He is fascinated by the live penguins, and of course, this aquarium has a gift shop with stuffed penguins on sale today! Wait till you see what Elliot gets when his father hands him money! Buzzeo moves the story along with great action verbs, as the story knocks, skips, empties, pops, dials, drags, and more. A surprise is just beyond the door, when Dad yells, “ELLIOT!” Readers will delight at the camaraderie between father and son and be amused at what happens!

    Famed illustrator, David Small, adds his winning touch to this comical story, with hints of “things to come”. The shades of blue and green, the scribbles and broken lines, and the shadows and pictures on the wall clue the reader!

    One Cool Friend is useful in the classroom for teaching how to write story conversations. The illustrator uses a great technique of bubbling the conversation between father and son. Additionally, this story connects to the curriculum in the areas of geography, history, and science! Students may want to research the Magellanic Penguin and other sea creatures, as well as read about great voyages of discovery in world history.

    Buzzeo’s story stimulates creative thinking! It is inevitable that the reader will begin to think, “If I could have a dream pet, it would be…” What a great writing activity or the start of a new story.

    vanhookc (Teacher Librarian in Iowa)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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