Gordon and Tapir by Sebastian Meschenmoser

Gordon and Tapir by Sebastian Meschenmoser

Gordon and Tapir by Sebastian Meschenmoser (InfoSoup)

Gordon is a very tidy penguin who lives with a very untidy tapir. The two of them simply can’t get along together. Tapir takes all of the toilet paper to make a hammock in his room and a hat to go with it. He doesn’t do the dishes and the living room has started to look like a jungle. Tapir has complaints about Gordon too. Gordon is too orderly and won’t let Tapir join his club of penguins. Finally Gordon has had enough, particularly when Tapir’s friend moves in and lives in the bathroom. So Gordon moves out. Tapir misses him dreadfully, but Gordon soon reaches out and the two discover that sometimes friendships work best when you don’t share the same space.

Shortlisted for the German Children’s Book of the Year, this picture book is entirely delightful. A large part of that comes from the skillful mix of anthropomorphic animals but also keeping them very realistic as well. These are real-feeling animals who just happen to have couches, dishes and bathrooms. The art is beautifully and detailed, allowing the text to fade into the background for much of the book. My favorite pages are actually free of text as the two of them struggle to make living together work.

The use of the odd-couple dynamics in the book doesn’t feel stale at all and is further freshened by the unique animals chosen as the protagonists. Young readers will want to discover more about Tapirs even if they are slovenly. The book has a lovely story arc that gives a satisfying ending to the book, one that young readers will appreciate as they navigate their own friendships whether they are the tidy or messy one.

A clever look at friendships that gives new life to an old trope. Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.

 

This Week’s Tweets, Pins & Tumbls

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I think are cool:

#books #reading:

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Children’s Lit Community Launches Auction to Help Refugees in Europe

Fresh Graphic Novel Picks – ALSC Blog

From school books to publishing, black girls deserve better representation

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Jackie Carter, Who Pushed for Racial Diversity in Children’s Books, Dies at 62

Why children and teens need funny books

Why it’s time to take children’s books seriously

I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to make sense.:

EBOOKS

How Amazon Kindle Unlimited Scammers Wring Big Money From Phony Books

LIBRARIES

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Boulder Public Library aims to empower parents with new early literacy app

Community celebrates Billings Public Library’s recent awards

In praise of the Library of Congress

Is your local library a bestseller? — Mass. circulation rates tell an interesting tale – The Boston Globe

L.A. Public Library unveils new card designed by Shepard Fairey

Lending a Library a Hand in Colorado

Library director reflects on dramatic changes as retirement draws near

The once and future library

Open libraries: Self service libraries – The Danish way.

The Rise of Pirate Libraries

Toronto library workers say they’re heading for strike | Toronto Star

Weeding the Worst Library Books – The New Yorker

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TEEN READS

The best starter graphic novels for YA readers