Friday, January 14, 2011

Porky and Bess by Ellen Weiss & Mel Friedman, illustrated by Marsha Winborn

I'm always on the lookout for new and different easy readers, but occasionally it's nice to fall back on the classic animal friends model. Porky is messy and artistic. He likes to bake and write poetry. He doesn't like children - especially kittens - very much. Bess is perfect. Perfectly tidy, a perfect skater, and perfectly organized. She loves her three kittens, Two, Three, and Bunky. Despite their differences, Porky and Bess are friends.

Porky appreciates Bess' perfect skating and her sympathy when he struggles with a poem. Bess helps Porky with his baking and listens to his poetry. They are very different, but they are still good friends.

There are a lot of classic easy reader plots in this story - adult animals living (mostly) on their own, friendship despite differences, and the four sections of the story which each contain a different plot. Like most of these easy readers, one member of the pair is more adult and responsible, while the other has a more childlike character. I'll let you read it to find out which is which! However, there are several interesting oddities, including Porky's moon cake and Bess' kittens, and some sly humor for adults, such as the title. The illustrations are warm and colorful and the text blends in smoothly with the art.

Verdict: Recommended if you need additional classic fiction easy readers. But I strongly suggest you take a look at your easy reader section, if you haven't in a while, and see how balanced it is. I'm currently trying to balance nonfiction easy readers, classics, and some of the new and exciting genres that are coming out now.

ISBN: 978-0375854583; Published February 2010 by Random; Purchased for the library.

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