Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book? Hank the cactus cherishes his solitude. As creature after creature disturbs his serenity, he becomes more and more prickly. Hank realizes that his actions are hurting not only others, but himself. He courageously reaches out to Rosie the tumbleweed, who literally embraces his friendship. This story celebrates friendship and also can serve as a model for making things right after a social dustup. The desert setting is not often seen in picture books and Goodrich’s soft, but saturated, watercolors create an expansive setting but firmly situate Hank as the main character.
Anything you didn’t like about it? It’s a little surprising to see a cup come flying out from nowhere and land on Hank when the entire desert seems bereft of man-made objects except for Hank’s adobe home and painted pot, but Hank’s innovative solution makes up for that disparity.
To whom would you recommend this book: Preschool and elementary teachers and parents seeking friendship and inclusion stories.
Who should buy this book? Public libraries, elementary schools, and daycares.
Where would you shelve it? Picture books.
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes. It’s always good to be able to recommend a new friendship story, and this one would make a perfect read-aloud and discussion starter.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Lisa Rogers, John D. Hardy Elementary School Library, Wellesley, MA
Date of review: May 18, 2019