Croc & Turtle! The Bestest Friends Ever!, by Mike Wohnoutka, (Feb. 2019, Bloomsbury USA Kids), $17.99, ISBN: 9781681196343
Croc wants to show off for his best friend, Turtle, but keeps getting one-upped: an elephant easily flips a rock he struggled to lift; a rabbit soars over a rock right after Croc manages to clear it, and do we even need to mention the cheetah racing Croc? Disappointed and sad, Croc laments that he’s “not the best at anything!”, but Turtle reminds him that he’s stronger, leaps higher, and runs faster than him, which makes Turtle feels sad that he’s not the best at anything, either. Luckily, there’s one thing Croc and Turtle are both the best at: being each other’s best friends. Croc & Turtle! The Bestest Friends Ever! is great for storytime and independent reading for new readers; it has a sweet message about supporting one’s friends, and not having to be the best at everything. The gouache artwork is kid-friendly; cartoony, expressive, and played for laughs. The colors are soft, and the text changes color with the narrator, to help kids keep straight who’s speaking. This one is a sweet addition to picture book collections.
Croc & Turtle! The Bestest Friends Ever!, by Mike Wohnoutka, (Feb. 2019, Bloomsbury Children’s Books), $17.99, ISBN: 9781681196343
Croc tells his buddy, Turtle, that he’s the strongest, fastest, highest jumper… but he gets proven wrong each time! When Croc starts to feel down on himself, Turtle knows that just won’t do: he’s the best friend to Turtle. And Croc assures Turtle that he’s the best friend to Croc. They’re both the best at something! Yay! A sweet story about not having to be “the best” at things to have value, Croc and Turtle! The Bestest Friends Ever is comical, entertaining, and delivers a valuable message.
Written as a dialogue between the two friends, with other friendly animals chiming in, this works for storytime, one-on-one, and individual reading. The text includes short and mid-length sentences, with sound effects and plenty of sight words for newly independent readers; toddlers and preschoolers will love the cartoony artwork and the big facial expressions; the gouache artwork is done in pastels and is very little kiddo-friendly. Croc & Turtle! The Bestest Friends Ever! is a good addition to your picture book collections, and I look forward to seeing more Croc & Turtle adventures.
Mike Wohnoutka is an ALA Notable book author; his books, Can’t Sleep without Sheep, Jack’s House, and This is NOT a Cat have been designated as Blue Ribbon selections by the Bulletin of the Center for Chidren’s Books.