One Cool Friend

by Toni Buzzeo with illustrations by David Small

The illustrations in this title were done with pen and ink, ink wash, watercolor, and colored pencil.


After multiple readings all I can say is the use of pen and ink, ink wash, watercolor and colored pencil by David Small is brilliant.  Soft, warm black and white illustrations with splashes of color, chilly light blues, a lime plaid suit for the father, rosy cheeks for the two, a red backpack for Elliot, green garden hose, a marvelous skating outfit for Elliot, add to the nostalgic feel of this story as does the grand home and furnishings where the two reside.  His sense of humor, his extension of the text, is down right hilarious particularly evident in the characters' eyes.  Other touches such as a child running panic-stricken crab pinching her finger from the tide pool exhibit, the shark watching Elliot smuggle the penguin out in his pack, Elliot's bed filled with toy penguins, the penguin himself animated and happy-go-lucky, speech bubbles around the characters' conversations and thoughts and those oh, so, subtle hints at the unexpected conclusion contribute to the anticipated chorus of "read it again, please, please, please".

Mock Caldecott 2013

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