I am going to review Donut Feed the Squirrels by Mika Song and Unlikely Friends by Norm Feuti because they are both short, for the 5 to 8 reading crew and they both have donuts in them.
Even though the squirrels do steal the donuts and make a serious mess of things in Donut Feed the Squirrels, this was a funny book. Two squirrels get into all sorts of trouble trying to make a snack of the best smelling donuts. The humans love it, so why should squirrels not get in on the tasty treat? Belly and Norm (our two squirrel friends) must outsmart the donut food truck driver to get these tasty morsels. And trick they do. And messy they do make! The early reader will giggle, snort and want donuts, too! Feurti’s art is simple, minimal details, funny images (squirrels in a roller skate anyone?) and clever. The easy to read element and the modern humor, makes this a book that will make reading fun for the reluctant reader and keep the willing reader wanting more.
Beak & Ally Unlikely Friends has a similar issue with a bit of a “why did they do that” cliché. While I am a bit tired of the “clueless loud friend” making the “grumpy” friend change (yes, sometimes being alone is nice and peace and quiet when needed is well, needed. A lot.) this version is fun. There is enough new to make it fresh, but still familiar. Beak is a bird, Ally a gator. Beak moves in next door and the adventures (or misadventures) begin. The first is Beak offering donuts to Ally with predicable results. While not a lot “happens” in a traditional action way, there is a lot going on about what friends do for each other (though Beak does need to listen a bit more). The art is bold and deeply colored with minimal details.
Neither book is either a “boy” or “girl” book, though personal experience would make me see Donut Feed the Squirrels as a book that is a bit more “girl targeted” and Unlikely Friends one that is more “boy targeted” if that is a consideration.