Review of Olive & Pekoe: In Four Short Walks

Olive & Pekoe: In Four Short Walks
by Jacky Davis; illus. by Giselle Potter
Preschool, Primary    Greenwillow    40 pp.
3/19    978-0-06-257310-0    $17.99

Pekoe is a large yellow puppy with energy and enthusiasm to spare; Olive is a small older dog with a much more subdued (one might even say jaded) outlook on life. Despite their very different worldviews, they are good friends. Readers follow the pair on four short walks that showcase the things that make them different as well as what they have in common. Walk One takes place in the woods, where Pekoe likes to run around and play with sticks while Olive prefers to rest; however, they are in perfect agreement when it’s time for a snack. During Walk Two, the pair gets caught in a thunderstorm and, together, they endure the unpleasantness. On Walk Three, Pekoe becomes obsessed with chasing a chipmunk, while Olive “isn’t overly concerned about the chipmunk’s whereabouts.” Walk Four takes place in a dog park, where Olive stands up for her younger friend when a mean dog scares him. Davis’s deadpan text (“When Pekoe finds a good stick, he brings it to Olive. Olive just looks at it, but she appreciates the gesture”) is the perfect foil for Potter’s expressive art. The illustrations capture the ups-and-downs of canine life and friendship with understanding and humor — especially when it comes to Pekoe’s innocent naiveté. This book will touch the hearts and tickle the funny bones of dog-story readers and friendship-story readers alike.

From the March/April 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
Martha V. Parravano
Martha V. Parravano
Martha V. Parravano is book review editor of The Horn Book, Inc., and co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog.

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