Friday, March 08, 2013

Different Strokes: Jasper & Joop by Olivier Dunrea

Jasper and Joop are two very different goslings.

Jasper's white feathers are pristine and smooth as silk. He never leaves the nest without tidying it up and putting on his little rep tie and striped cap.

Joop's grey feathers are spiky and messy. In fact, he musses them up carefully before he leaves his disreputable nest.

Nevertheless, this odd couple of goslings are friends. While the fastidious Jasper holds back from interacting with the wet, dusty, muddy outdoors and shrinks from interacting with people of the pig persuasion, Joop embraces it all!


As Jasper shrinks in distaste, Joop splashes in puddles, plops into the mud with the piglets, and cheers when the chicks invite him for a frolic in the musty, dusty straw. It is not until he ignores the buzzzzzzzing of the bees near their hive, that Joop runs a-fowl of his environment. Jasper looks on aghast as Joop follows the bees right up to their hive. And then, horror of horrors---


This time the judicious Jasper takes the lead and they both RUN from the angry bees--into the tall grass, rolling in the mud, and waddling wildly until they SPLASH into the safety of the pond. When they bob up, they find themselves in agreement for the first time that day:


Olivier Dunrea's latest in his Gossie and Friends series, the just-out Jasper & Joop (Gossie & Friends) (Houghton Mifflin, 2013) shows a pair of fine feathered friends who find that their differences don't stop them from finding fun. Olivier Dunrea's oh-so-inviting illustrations, blackline drawings, in strong pastels against a bright white pages, give his books a plenty of eye appeal, and his stories of exuberant young geese and ducks are fine preschool fare. For Easter baskets pair this one with Dunrea's seasonal treat, Ollie's Easter Eggs (a Gossie & Friends book) (see my review here). What fun indeed!!

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