School Library JournalK-Gr 2-A second beginning reader about the friendship between Cork, a muskrat, and Fuzz, a possum. Cork believes that something "is not right" because he is older, yet shorter than his friend. He asks Fuzz to walk on his knees and give up eating-painful strategies soon abandoned. Fuzz entreats Cork to grow by expanding his diet to include worms and hanging from a tree to stretch-unsuccessful propositions. Cork decides they must end this imbalanced friendship, causing Fuzz to shed tears, which fall on a large, wet nut. It lies next to a small, dry nut, and leads to the conclusion that "They are different-.But they are still nuts." Fuzz takes Cork to the edge of the pond to view their images and see that they are "Two best friends-short and tall together." Children will find comfort and delight in the bits of dialogue that reflect their own relationships. The first three chapters feature cliff-hanger endings to sustain appeal. McCue's illustrations capture just the right blend of pond-side realism and humanistic expression to enchant readers and extend the text. Add this to Arnold Lobel's "Frog and Toad" series (HarperCollins), Cynthia Rylant's "Poppleton" books (Scholastic), and Frank Asch's tales of Bear and Little Bird (S & S) for a friendship celebration.-Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsIn this delightful second installment, Cork the muskrat and Fuzz the possum struggle to resolve differences that jeopardize their friendship. Cork, who is older, notices that Fuzz is taller. In the duo's childlike estimation, older equals taller-it's simply a rule. Comical attempts to make Fuzz shorter, then Cork, taller, convey just the right mix of earnest endeavor and endearingly silly misapprehension. Chaconas's text and characterizations hearken back to the best of Harper's I Can Read program, evoking in particular the measured dialogue and sweet illogic of Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad. In turn, McCue's ink-and-watercolor illustrations pay tribute to Garth Williams, even as they offer up a pleasingly fresh color palette and singularly apt depictions of two hairy pals from toe to tail. This laugh-out-loud treat never falls short. (Easy reader. 5-8)
Meet the Author
Dori Chaconas lives in Germantown, Wisconsin.
Lisa McCue lives in Annapolis, Maryland.
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