Cyril and Pat is a good story about friendship with some fabulously great illustrations. Emily Gravett created a book that, while on the surface seems like a normal friendship book, has a slightly different ending.
Everyone is trying to tell Cyril (a lonely grey squirrel in the park) that his new friend Pat, is a rhyming word. Literally. But Cyril only sees the good in Pat. How he shares and is funny. How he is just an all-around good friend. Nothing can or will change that. And, of course, Pat, when the chips are down (figuratively, not literally, but he does love himself a literal chip) comes to the rescue.
While this sounds like a normal “my friend is my friend no matter what he looks like” story, there is just a subtle tone that makes this a little more modern, a bit more humorous without coming right out and being a “laugh out loud” kind of story and just slightly different from what we might be used to. Gravett’s illustrations are fun and the perfect companion to the text. The colors are bright, not overpowering, and are filled with the right amount of detail.
This is written for the slightly older crowd (strong 5 to 8 years old) and something that could be read one-on-one or to a group. I could see a teacher doing several activities with this book: projects about animals, projects about your best friend, even about how people are the same and different (after all, as a squirrel and rat there are some interesting similarities).