One Cool Friend

One Cool Friend

4.7 7
by Toni Buzzeo, David Small
     
 

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2013 Caldecott Honor Book.
 
From New York Times bestselling author Toni Buzzeo and Caldecott Medal winning illustrator David Small, comes a cool tale about an unlikely friendship.
 
On a spontaneous visit to the aquarium, straight-laced and proper Elliot discovers his dream pet: a penguin. When he asks his father if

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Overview

2013 Caldecott Honor Book.
 
From New York Times bestselling author Toni Buzzeo and Caldecott Medal winning illustrator David Small, comes a cool tale about an unlikely friendship.
 
On a spontaneous visit to the aquarium, straight-laced and proper Elliot discovers his dream pet: a penguin. When he asks his father if he may have one (please and thank you), his father says yes. Elliot should have realized that Dad was probably thinking of a toy penguin, not a real one… Clever illustrations and a wild surprise ending make this sly, silly tale a kid-pleaser from start to finish.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Elliot’s father wears a dorky plaid suit and works as some sort of naturalist. He’s also pretty absentminded, so when Elliot—a quiet, rosy-cheeked boy who prefers tuxedos—brings home a Magellanic penguin, he doesn’t notice. Small’s (Elsie’s Bird) ink-and-watercolor drawings are as urbane as Elliot’s bow tie, and he creates a magnificent mansion for Elliot and his father. Elliot fixes up a bedroom ice rink with the air conditioner and hose, puts Magellan to bed in the freezer, and takes him swimming in the bathtub. Buzzeo (the Adventure Annie books) gives Elliot courtly manners (“Thank you for inviting me” is his response to his father’s suggestion they visit the aquarium) and a quick wit. The book’s humor is built on gentle misunderstandings between father and son (when Elliot asks for a penguin, his father assumes he means a stuffed one from the aquarium gift shop). Though very much a boy-and-his-pet story, it’s just as much about two gentlemen who appear to be orbiting entirely different planets. The revelation that they’re not so dissimilar after all is about as sweet as it gets. Ages 5–8. (Jan.)
Library Media Connection
"Elliot, clad in a proper black suit, discovers the perfect pet when he and his dad visit the aquarium . . . Charming illustrations [draw] the eye to funny little details . . . Highly recommended." (starred)
Booklist
“This charming picture book has many humorous details throughout, and kids will likely laugh out loud at the surprise (particularly for father!) ending.”
Horn Book
“Suitable for both story time and closer observation, the illustrations (including the comical Magellan) complement the child-friendly premise and will certainly attract young readers to this quirky tale.”
BCCB
“The comic characterizations of Elliott and his father, and Small’s lively ink, watercolor, and colored pencil illustrations […] will make this a popular choice for both reading aloud and reading alone.”
From the Publisher
“The surprise ending has the same satisfying sensibility as Jules Feiffer’s Bark, George. A real kid charmer that will elicit ‘Read it again!’ responses.” (Starred) — School Library Journal

"The book’s humor is built on gentle misunderstandings between father and son (when Elliot asks for a penguin, his father assumes he means a stuffed one from the aquarium gift shop). . . A boy-and-his-pet story [that's] about as sweet as it gets." (Starred) — Publishers Weekly

"Elliot, clad in a proper black suit, discovers the perfect pet when he and his dad visit the aquarium . . . Charming illustrations [draw] the eye to funny little details . . . Highly recommended." (starred) — Library Media Connection

“This charming picture book has many humorous details throughout, and kids will likely laugh out loud at the surprise (particularly for father!) ending.” — Booklist

“Suitable for both story time and closer observation, the illustrations (including the comical Magellan) complement the child-friendly premise and will certainly attract young readers to this quirky tale.” — Horn Book

“The comic characterizations of Elliott and his father, and Small’s lively ink, watercolor, and colored pencil illustrations […] will make this a popular choice for both reading aloud and reading alone.” — BCCB

“A happy tale of domestic amity, with a well-set-up punchline.” — Kirkus Reviews

2013 Caldecott Honor Book
2013 Notable Children's Book
New York Times Best Seller
Junior Library Guild Selection

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
When Elliot's father asks him if he wants to go to the aquarium, the suited and bow-tied youngster reluctantly agrees. But there he is delighted to discover penguins, "properly dressed" like him. He asks his dad if he can have one. His father agrees, giving him twenty dollars to buy what he thinks will be a stuffed toy. Instead, Elliot pops a live one in his backpack and brings it home. Naming it Magellan, Elliot provides it with a skating rink in his air-conditioned room and does some research about penguins. When his father finally discovers Magellan in the bathtub, both he and Elliot come to a surprising, happy agreement. Pen and ink, ink wash, watercolors, and colored pencils produce various size light-hearted illustrations to accompany the brief, matter-of-fact text. The up-tight youngster and his loosely academic father live comfortably parallel lives. The zoo penguins have a great time cavorting in their pool; boy and bird also enjoy their skating in the improvised frozen "old wading pool." Each scene has details and conversational exchanges set in speech balloons sure to amuse readers. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
: $16.99.PreS-Gr 2—Elliot's father often seems less than focused. So when they visit the aquarium and Elliot asks for a penguin, his father doesn't even blink as he brings one home in his backpack. Elliot gets to know his new friend, and reports on the experience to his seemingly muddle-minded father. But perhaps Dad has more in common with his son than you might suppose. This sweet and unexpected story by Toni Buzzeo (Dial, 2012) is read clearly and crisply by Chris Sorensen. No sound effects or music come between the listener and the text. The book is highly dependent on David Small's delightfully subdued watercolor illustrations, with a fun surprise ending that you literally have to see to believe, so make sure to have it available. Paired with the book, the audiobook would make a dandy listening center and bring a grin to the face of any listener.—Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary, Federal Way, WA
Kirkus Reviews
Boy and Antarctic bird bond in a tongue-in-cheek tale keyed by artful misdirection. Drawn to an aquarium's penguin exhibit because the birds resemble his own tuxedo-wearing self, young Elliot secures permission from his (seemingly) distracted single dad to get a penguin. Rather than hit the gift shop, though, he pops a live one he dubs "Magellan" into his backpack. Using a hose, a backyard wading pool and an overpowered air conditioner, he sets up a rink in his bedroom. He stashes his diminutive new buddy amid frozen seafood in the fridge overnight, then leaves him splashing around in a tub of extra-cold water the next day. Crisis looms when Elliot's still strangely oblivious father heads for the bathroom--but, as observers sharp enough to have picked up some subtle visual clues will understand, Magellan isn't the only exotic animal in the house, and the old man has good reason to be more surprised than shocked to find himself sharing the tub with an interloper. In line with Buzzeo's elegantly spare text, Small uses neutral washes with loosely drawn lines and highlights of restrained color to depict the urbane lad and his equally dapper companion making themselves comfortably at home in upper-crust digs. A happy tale of domestic amity, with a well-set-up punchline. (Picture book. 6-8)
Rachael Brown
Small's energetic colored-pencil, ink and watercolor illustrations aptly convey the scale and urgency of a child's perspective and provide plenty of playful details leading up to a last-page twist that will delight kids and parents alike.
—The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803734135
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
01/10/2012
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
123,160
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
AD620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
2013 Caldecott Honor Book
2013 Notable Children's Book
New York Times Best Seller
Junior Library Guild Selection

Meet the Author

Children's book author Toni Buzzeo is the creator of The Sea Chest and Dawdle Ducking, two picture books for young readers.

Buzzeo was raised in Dearborn, Michigan and moved to Maine 23 years ago. She holds a Masters degree in English from the University of Michigan and a Masters degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Rhode Island. She has worked as a high school and college English teacher, a public children's librarian, and a school library media specialist. Currently, she is a Library Media Specialist at Longfellow School in Portland, Maine. Buzzeo was named the 1999 Maine Library Media Specialist of the Year. She lives in Buxton, Maine amid wild turkeys and black flies with her husband, Ken Cyll, her son, Chris Cyll, 19.

Her first book, The Sea Chest (Dial Books for Young Readers, September 2002) (ages 5-up), is set on a fictional midcoast Maine island and is based on the Maine Hendricks Head Light baby-in-the-sea chest legend. The book, illustrated in oils by Minnesota artist Mary GrandPré who has also illustrated the popular Harry Potter novels, is both Maine historical fiction and a touching adoption story. The title earned Buzzeo the 2000 Barbara Karlin Grant for Picture Book Writing from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. It has been chosen as a Junior Library Guild selection and will be featured in Scholastic Book Fairs

Her second book, Dawdle Duckling (Dial Books for Young Readers, January 2003) (ages 2-6) is the story of a small duckling who swims to the beat of his own drummer—until danger threatens. The book, illustrated in pastels by California illustrator Margaret Spengler, is a cheerful reassuring tale of youthful rebellion and parental protection—with an exciting surprise ending.

She is also the author of four professional books: Terrific Connections with Authors, Illustrators, and Storytellers: Real Space and Virtual Links, co-authored with Jane Kurtz (Libraries Unlimited 1999), 35 Best Books For Teaching U.S. Regions, co-authored with Jane Kurtz (Scholastic Professional 2002), Collaborating to Meet Standards: Teacher/Librarian Partnerships for K-6 (Linworth, March 2002), and Collaborating to Meet Standards: Teacher/Librarian Partnerships for 7-12 (Linworth, September 2002).

Read more about Toni Buzzeo on her website

David Small grew up in Detroit, studied Art and English at Wayne State University and completed his graduate studies in art at Yale. He went on to teach drawing and printmaking at the college level for fourteen years, during which time his first book Eulalie and The Hopping Head was published. David no longer teaches but has continued illustrating.

David has illustrated twenty-seven picture books, and has also provided the text for six of them. His Imogene’s Antlers has been featured for fifteen years on PBS’ “Reading Rainbow.” Fenwicks Suit presently is in production by Fox 2000 Four of David’s bestselling picture books were written by his wife, Sarah Stewart. Their book The Gardener was the recipient of 17 awards including the Christopher Medal and the 1998 Caldecott Honor Award.

David’s books have been translated into six languages. He also has worked years as a freelance editorial artist, with his drawings appearing regularly in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post. His reviews of picture books appear frequently in The New York Times Book Review.

Of his beginnings as an artist David has this to say: “Detroit is not where I would have lived given the choice as a child. Then, I would much rather have lived in Candy Land. But the fact is Detroit—a harsh, industrial—made art and music all the more sweet in my young life, more urgent and more of a necessity. Seen in that light, Detroit was the perfect place for me to grow up.”

David Small and Sarah Stewart make their home in Michigan in an 1833 Greek Revival house on ten acres of land along the banks of the St. Joseph River. Their house is on the National Register of Historic Places, and their property marks the northern boundary of the Great Tallgrass Prairie.

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