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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Lessons in making friends, making amends when you're wrong, and that misunderstandings can happen.
Positive Role Models
The friends don't always behave their best but they do eventually work out their differences and learn to talk to each other more appropriately. But before that happens there is name calling ("Girls are cry-babies" and "Little monster" and "Dumb girls") and mud pie throwing.
Violence & Scariness
The characters throw mud pies at each other.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that for families with a sense of humor that tends to be a little broad, the book is pretty cute. But others who want more wholesome heroes, Benny's behavior especially may give them pause. "Girls are dumb," he mutters. "Girls are cry-babies." Parents should tread carefully and give the book a quick look-through before sitting down for a read-aloud.
Is It Any Good?
Written in comic book format, this is a book that relies heavily on its illustrations. Fortunately the pictures are up for the responsibility. Hearkening back to the style of old fashioned picture books right down to the blue bow cocked over Penny's left ear, the illustrations have a comfortingly nostalgic feel that brings to mind the classic Little Golden Books. But the content is pure slapstick, also old fashioned but a lot less cozy. Benny and Penny call each other names, get mud thrown at them by the new neighbor, and live out a comedy of errors worthy of a Saturday morning cartoon.
The pictures are terrific with the homey nostalgia of old-timey picture books, but in the comic book format.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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Our Editors Recommend
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