Friends Reviews

Publishers Weekly *Starred Review*

“Van Hout used wildly expressive fish to illustrate emotions in 2012’s Happy. Twelve pairs of equally exuberant monster friends do the job in this excellent companion book, each representing a verb. As in Happy, Van Hout’s scribbly, childlike creations are set against a pure black backdrop, letting his neon palette shine all the brighter. While different monsters appear on each spread, there is a clear emotional arc…Van Hout expertly conveys the emotional peaks and valleys of each friendship.”

Kirkus Reviews

“With only a dozen or so words and spectacular images, van Hout captures the landscape of friendship for toddlers through teens and beyond. The colors are jewel-bright on black pages, and each opening shows a pair of figures, usually a larger one and a small one, and a single word. They are animals or monsters or little gnome-like creatures, but they are all vibrantly alive…Like the earlier Happy (2012), this conveys emotional heft and arresting images in an appealing, child-size package.”

School Library Journal

“Colorful childlike drawings…cleverly explore playfulness, boredom, teasing, fighting, making up, cuddling, and so on… Each spread pictorially describes one word. This book has a lot of child appeal, and no doubt youngsters will choose a favorite monster they can relate to. This short book will pair well in storytimes with other picture books about friendship.”

7 Impossible Things 

“Laid out on twelve black spreads, with dynamic and very animated pastel drawings, van Hout shows young readers a series of monster friendships… this time the verbs get to steal the show; each spread is assigned one—”play,” “bore,” “tease,” “fight,” “make up,” and much more—as we witness the ups and downs of very furry friendships.”

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