I Love To Eat

No way! Me too!!                  

*Any time a board book gives me three languages (English, French, Spanish) for the price of one, that's a win
*Covers the basics while throwing in some normally unseen common mealtime items like a sippy cup and a baby jar 
*HMH Books upped the ante by using a sturdy design complete with nice 3D finishing touches   

*No doubt this is good for a number of readings, but eventually it has to fade
*Sure the cover cutout is really eyecatching -- still, I don't suggest you add blueberries to your child's milk bottle when he or she now requests it 
*Baby cookies don't always resemble the ones we eat, but the picture of them here makes them look more like sweet potatoes or peanuts at first glance 

Short book.  Short review.  No real downside to speak of except for that first con, which happens to be the very definition of a Borrow for me. Gotta go -- I'm hungry!                              

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The Great Friendship Of Koyemsi And TuHavi

Something tells me that author/illustrator Joan Mansson and I won't be BFF after this review. 

*The idea behind the story, which Mansson discovered when researching her own Hopi kachina dolls, is a great allegory for one looking to demonstrate the principles of cooperation, teamwork, and, yes, friendship   
*Even though the book was too stretched out for my taste, my son seemed interested in it all the way through (full disclosure: he has not asked us to reopen it, despite a little water-testing by me and it being the only book in our living room all weekend)
*As a fan of the early American West, I was excited to use this as a springboard to discuss Native American life with my kid

*There are a lot of ways the text could have been shortened up, but the easiest would have been to not dedicate so much of the story to having the two main characters rehash the experience from their respective vantage points (especially since a good chunk of many paragraphs repeated portions of what the other counterpart had just said) 
*I am having a tough time understanding why Mansson chose to surround her full-color illustrations with a bunch of black stick figure images -- I'm assuming cost might have been a factor; regardless, it hurts the artistic credibility 
*We are told twice that the fireballs came from the Eastern sky, but never learn of the source of these fireballs (while not a necessity, it might have helped flesh out the action)


I think we can all agree that tribal folklore provides that extra bit of gravitas you don't normally get in typical kidlit fare.  Now, throw in the plight of a blind man and one who cannot walk, and you're cooking with gas!  The concept has all the makings of a winner; but, for the reasons listed above, that winner lost its way in all of the commotion.  [Perhaps a small historical section on the Hopi people and the kachina tradition would have provided a bit of course correction.]  On the bright side, you will walk away with a strong core parable in your pocket, which is more than I can say about a lot of self-published books I have come across over the years...  

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