Thursday, September 28, 2006

Review: My Buddy, Slug

Jarrett J. Krosoczka's latest title, My Buddy, Slug, tackles a topic not often seen in picture books: What do you do when you see your best friend just a little too often?

Alex has encountered just this problem: "It used to be Slug, Kevin, and me--the unstoppable three. Until Kevin moved away. Now it's just Slug and me...all the time."

Alex sees Slug so often, that's he's dying for a little alone time. Slug is around every corner. He shows up at the dentist, at the mall, even for dinner.

On one such occasion, Alex's mom invites Slug for a sleepover. Slug talks and talks. He tells jokes, stories, asks philosophical questions. And, Alex is beyond annoyed.

The next morning Alex "had words" with his mother. He yells, "I'm sick of him!" You can guess who overhears this heated conversation and whose feelings are really, really hurt.

I have absolutely no idea why Alex's best friend is a giant, orange slug, but Slug is awfully cute and colorful. Krosoczka's illustrations are as expressive as ever and the story he tells is, at the same time, unique and one every young school child will recognize. My Buddy, Slug is highly recommended for children ages 4-9.