Review of The Party and Other Stories

The Party and Other Stories [Fox + Chick]
by Sergio Ruzzier; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Chronicle    46 pp.
4/18    978-1-4521-5288-2    $14.99

In a volume with a picture book’s trim size but plenty of graphic-novel elements (simply structured panels, dialogue balloons, sound effects), Ruzzier delivers three stories well suited to both reading newcomers and not-yet-reading listeners. In “The Party,” Chick gets permission to “use” Fox’s bathroom, but, as Chick eventually learns, Fox didn’t mean that Chick could use it as a party venue (“CRASH! THUD! SPLASH!”). In “Good Soup,” Chick says that Fox, who is busy harvesting carrots, should eat things that foxes are “supposed to” eat — until Chick realizes (“Uh-oh”) that foxes are supposed to eat little birds. In “Sit Still,” Chick wants to pose for Fox’s painting, but Chick’s constant comings and goings (“I will go and get a pillow…I will go and get a snack”) make for one frustrated artist. Ruzzier’s finely etched and textured pen, ink, and watercolor vignettes employ a subdued palette less suggestive of a typical graphic novel than of a baby’s nursery. Collectively, these three stories create a profile of an entertaining odd-couple friendship that, if given a few more outings, could make a Frog and Toad–like impression on the picture-book and easy-reader worlds.

From the July/August 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: ALA Awards.
Nell Beram
Nell Beram is coauthor of the young adult biography Yoko Ono: Collector of Skies (Amulet/Abrams), which made the 2014 Amelia Bloomer Project list and YALSA’s 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound list.

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