And to Think That We Thought That We'd Never Be Friends by Mary Ann Hoberman. il Kevin Hawkes.
Crown Publishers, Inc/Random House: NY, 1999.

This rhyming story starts with a brother and sister fighting. A third child settles the dispute through sharing. The kids fight again in the evening, and their father distracts them by sharing a book. The new neighbors disturb their peace with music (terrible music). The matter is set right when they join in. The disturbance continues throughout the community and beyond, growing larger as more people share the music, spreading throughout the world.

The message is settling disputes through friendship. First, that arguments can be resolved, and then, that it can work for everyone. The extension of friendship spreading through the world is one not common for this theme, and it is shown in a fun and contagious way.

Hawkes has used lots of color, contrast, and shadow for a dynamic effect, with the people and animals almost leaping from the page. I wasn't sure I was going to like this book (because of the didactic content). As always, Hawkes' beautiful rendering is perfect for the story, and the reader is soon caught up in the spirit of the parade instead of dwelling on the lesson. And there are plenty of details to go back and pore over.

related-conflict resolution, friendship, sharing, peace, brothers and sisters, stories in rhyme
RL=1st-3rd, read aloud to toddler and up

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