Friday, February 22, 2013
Wooby & Peep: A Story of Unlikely Friendship by C. Liu & M. Peterson - #3 for Children's Day
Wooby & Peep is subtitled "A Story of Unlikely Friendship" because Wooby (a dog?) and Peep (oh, dear -- a duck? a chicken?) have decidedly different personalities. Wooby has a nice petunia garden and an ancient tree he loves and he's accustomed to a quiet home in a sedate neighborhood "where the neighbors minded their own business". Peep is very happy-go-lucky, noisy and friendly. Wooby and his neighbors are not sure what to think when Peep begins to move in and the movers pull out her enormous sound system. All the neighbors are invited to a housewarming party that promises to be the "wildest" housewarming party of the year.
The other neighbors are so nervous that they all make alternate plans for the time of the party. All except Wooby, who arrives with his goldfish, Wendy. The party is a total flop. The next day, Peep tries to do something nice for Wooby that ends in disaster. And the pattern continues. Peep is determined to make friends with the only animal who showed up for her party but disaster seems to follow her.
Peep has a pet iguana and Wooby has his goldfish, but the truth is that they're both lonely. When Peep tries to make everything right and admits she's lonely, ". . . do you have any idea how hard it is to play Go Fish with an iguana? No offense again, Ricardo," the light dawns. They have more in common than Wooby realized.
Wooby & Peep is a sweet story (and pretty funny) but I was a little unsure about it, at first, because the illustrations are a little bit busy, with the various animal neighbors peeping over fences and making comments that are essentially animal jokes.
"What are the neighhh-bors doing now?" asks a horse.
"They really should use bamboo," says a panda.
After rereading it and pondering the days when I had little ones to read to (and I read to my kids a lot), I remembered that if you just read the main storyline you don't have to point at everything and explain it. By the time your kids are old enough to get the animal jokes, they're so curious that if you try to get away with reading nothing but the story itself, they'll point at the other things happening and ask, "What's he saying?" then giggle when they get the joke or nod when you explain.
Recommended - A lovely tale of friendship with colorful, cartoonish illustrations in which there's quite a bit going on. If possible, I'd recommend flipping through the book in a bookstore or going to a site where you can peek inside Wooby & Peep before buying, if you're concerned about the "busy" aspect, which irritates some children but others love. After reading the book a few times, I've come to the conclusion that my anti-busy-book child would still have enjoyed Wooby & Peep because of its pleasant storyline.
Wooby & Peep was sent to me by Sterling Children's Books. The suggested age range is 3 to 7 years. I agree with that. It's a sweet story to read to little ones but has enough text that beginning readers will appreciate it, as well.
This is review #3 for Children's Day. One more to go!
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