Yes & No by Elisha Cooper

Yes & No by Elisha Cooper
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Genre: Childrens, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

From Caldecott Honor author/illustrator Elisha Cooper comes Yes & No, a timeless tale of friendship, adjusting your perspective, and the joys (and trials) of siblinghood.

Good morning, good morning. It’s time to wake up!

Join a cat and puppy pair through their day―the ups of being fed and romping through grass, and the downs of days that are too short and things that don’t go as planned―as they realize that sometimes the very best thing that can happen is just being together.

Siblings can be a blessing and curse.

I liked this book because it not only shows that having siblings can be a challenge, but it also shows that sometimes siblings aren’t just the ones by blood, but by choice.

The writing in this book is simple but the theme is easy to grasp. The illustrations are intriguing, showing the ways the siblings — in this case a cat and dog — are different, but the same and can get along. I liked this story because it’s cute, but also gives a good lesson.

If you’re looking for a book to read to your younger children, then this might be the best one. Recommended.

Bone Dog: A Picture Book by Eric Rohmann

Bone Dog: A Picture Book by Eric Rohmann
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Genre: Childrens, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Holiday, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (32 pages)
Age Recommendation: 6+
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Gus doesn’t feel like doing much after his dog Ella dies. He doesn’t really even feel like dressing up for Halloween. But when Gus runs into a bunch of rowdy skeletons, it’s Ella–his very own Bone dog–who comes to his aid, and together they put those skeletons in their place. A book about friendship, loss, and a delightfully spooky Halloween.

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There was so much emotion packed into this picture book. I started reading it without realizing just how much Gus and Ella’s friendship was going to affect me. The touching moments between this boy and his dog were sometimes sandwiched between sillier and scarier scenes for sure, but that only made them stronger. No matter what happened to these characters, the bond between them was always going to remain strong. I blinked back tears as I wandered deeper into the plot, and that was a good thing.

It would have been nice to have more details to work with. The basic plot was there, but the narrator didn’t spend a lot of time describing how Ella became a bone dog and why she had the ability to return to visit Gus. This was such an interesting concept that I was a bit disappointed by how little time was spent fleshing it out, so to speak. With a bit more development, it could have easily been a five-star story for me.

I loved the scary scenes that were included. While they did make me need to bump up the age recommendation higher than I would have otherwise chosen, they also added some much-needed conflict to the storyline that made it impossible for me to stop reading until I learned what Gus’ fate would be that dark Halloween night.

Bone Dog: A Picture Book should be read by anyone who has ever wished they could see a beloved pet again.