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Best Frints in the Whole Universe
     

Best Frints in the Whole Universe

by Antoinette Portis
 

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Yelfred and Omek have been best frints since they were little blobbies. They play and snack, and sometimes they even fight, all in a language similar to but slightly different from, English. When Omek decides to borrow Yelfred's new spaceship without asking (and then crashes it), it sparks the biggest fight yet. Can these two best frints make up and move

Overview

Yelfred and Omek have been best frints since they were little blobbies. They play and snack, and sometimes they even fight, all in a language similar to but slightly different from, English. When Omek decides to borrow Yelfred's new spaceship without asking (and then crashes it), it sparks the biggest fight yet. Can these two best frints make up and move on?

Award-winning picture book creator Antoinette Portis delivers a new universe of cleverness and imagination in this hilarious, sweet, and otherworldly book about friendship.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 04/25/2016
On Planet Boborp, “teef are long and tempers are short,” yet two lookalike pink and purple aliens “have been best frints since they were little blobbies.” Portis (Not a Box) pictures the frints, Omek and Yelfred, as bubblegum-tinted spheres with otterlike tails, spindly limbs, and prehensile antennae. The frints’ volatility mirrors Earthling rivalries, despite a winking refrain that we have no such drama “here on planet Earth.” When Yelfred receives a spossip (spaceship) for his blurfday, Omek takes it for a spin and schmackles it to pieces. Yelfred bites Omek’s tail off (“Luckily, on Boborp, tails grow back”) and calls him a “double-dirt bleebo.” After cooling down, they fix the vehicle with “taypo” and a “sturpler,” restoring their frintship. Portis tinkers gleefully with familiar language and provides a Boborpian glossary on the endpapers, just in case. Her dot-matrix layers of retro color add dimension to the simple shapes and close-up images, and her flamboyant misspellings and soundalike words let beginning readers in on the sly jokes while crafting an all-too-knowing portrait of what frintship often looks like. Ages 4–7. Agent: Deborah Warren, East West Literary. (July)
From the Publisher

"Those seeking materials on friendship, especially for storytimes, should add this wonderfully wacky take on the subject."—School Library Journal, starred

"Her dot-matrix layers of retro color add dimension to the simple shapes and close-up images, and her flamboyant misspellings and soundalike words let beginning readers in on the sly jokes while crafting an all-too-knowing portrait of what frintship often looks like."—Publishers Weekly, starred

"Portis' bright, odd landscapes, flora and fauna digitally colored in vibrant hues, and her two grinning friends are all sweetly demented and irresistible."—Kirkus, starred

"
Her digitally colored mixed-media illustrations feature simple shapes—lots of
circles and triangles—vivid hues, thick black lines, and pop art–like textures."—Horn Book, starred

Children's Literature - Katie Engen
Playing with ‘frints’ and with words is universally satisfying, which is why little blobbies across the cosmos will say ‘yahoopy’ to this visually vitalizing story on the perks and low points of frintship. Best frints Yelfred and Omek of planet Boborp do everything together. They eat yunch, play eye ball, and share blurfday gifts. But when Omek schmakles Yelfred’s new flying spossip to bits, Yelfred bites off Omek’s tail. On Boborp—but not Earth, of course—sometimes-even frints use their long teef and impolite words like ‘double-dirt bleebo.’ Luckily, on Boborp—but not on Earth, of course—tails grow back. Unfortunately, on Boborp (and probably Earth), Omek cannot earn enough blobbysitting to buy a new spossip. Instead, the two use Yelfred’s taypo, twire, and the spewdriver, glume and sturpler from Omek’s bool tox to flix the spossip. When done, they happily agree they both flixed it—together. On Boborp—just like on Earth, of course—frintships can grow back. Earthlings of all ages will have a blast with how this facile text triggers organic and fun context-based comprehension mastery. Any blobbies struggling to understand can use the illustrated glossary spanning both endpapers. Reviewer: Katie Engen; Ages 3 to 7.
School Library Journal
★ 05/01/2016
K-Gr 2—Employing eye-catching imagery and space lingo that will have children and their adults giggling, Portis emphasizes that friendship can be tricky yet rewarding. Yelfred and Omek, residents of the planet Boborp, have been pals (or "frints") since they were young. Though these two buddies love to engage in a variety of activities together (they give out "blurfday" gifts, play games such as "eye ball in the peedle pit"—which consists of flinging an eyeball through a sea of gaping maws—and eat "yunch"), they are quick to anger (which never happens on Earth, the author wryly points out). Yelfred and Omek's interactions do turn a bit rough (harsh words are exchanged, and a tail is gnawed off), but "frintship" prevails in the end. Portis has crafted a witty and energetic work that will appeal to children's sense of fun. There's a Tim Burton-esque feel to the zany, dramatic illustrations—Yelfred and Omek are spherical creatures with antennae, tails, clawlike arms and legs, and pointy "teef")—but also an adorable factor that will endear them to readers. Saturated colors, textured backgrounds, and a pared-down design, full of thick outlines and simple shapes, are ideal for the title's intended audience. These easily vexed alien pals capture the emotional ups and downs that children experience, and Portis's creative take adds a fun twist on a well-trod topic. VERDICT Those seeking materials on friendship, especially for storytimes, should add this wonderfully wacky take on the subject.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2016-04-13
Occasional disagreements and the need to mend a friendship are universal challenges.Omek and Yelfred sport the gap-toothed look of human 5- and 6-year-olds, but with sharper teeth. They are neon-berry colored—Yelfred is purple and Omek is pink—and they have tadpolelike tails and antennae. They have grown up together, eating together and playing eye ball, "best frints since they were little blobbies" among the bright and toothy landscapes of their far-off planet, Boborp. But when Yelfred rides up in a sleek new spossip, a blurfday gift, Omek longs to take it for a spin and won't take no for an answer. As young readers might predict, the spossip gets shmackled. Yelfred is furious, and Omek is hardly contrite: "It was that way when I got it." Tail biting and harsh words ensue. "Frints on Boborp have been known to use their teef and not their words. (Not like here on planet Earth)," Portis notes wryly. But a détente follows quickly, involving work with a spewdriver and copious amounts of taypo and twire applied to hold the vehicle together. Portis' bright, odd landscapes, flora and fauna digitally colored in vibrant hues, and her two grinning friends are all sweetly demented and irresistible. An illustrated glossary appears on the endpapers and invites giggles, imitation, and the addition of Boborpian to languages spoken at home.Cosmically delightful. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781626721364
Publisher:
Roaring Brook Press
Publication date:
07/05/2016
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
95,845
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Antoinette Portis is the author of many inventive books for children, including Not a Box, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and a Geisel Honor Book, as well as Froodle and Wait, which she published with Roaring Brook Press. She is also the recipient of a Sendak Fellowship. Ms. Portis lives in Southern California.

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