Garcia & Colette Go Exploring – written by Hannah Barnaby, illustrated by Andrew Joyner


 Garcia & Colette Go Exploring – written by Hannah Barnaby, illustrated by Andrew Joyner, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Young Reader’s Group, 9780399176753, 2017

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre:  Picture book

What did you like about the book? Garcia and Colette are best friends and natural explorers, but where should they go?  One wants to fly into space and study the stars while the other wants to dive deep into the sea. The only solution is to build a vessel for adventure; Garcia constructs a snazzy silver rocket and Colette creates a glorious gold submarine. The two make many discoveries about their favorite places, but also discover how lonely an adventure can be without a friend.

This brightly illustrated story can be read on a variety of levels from finding opposites and parallels on each page to the importance of friendship and on up to the wonders of the world.  The text is simple enough to be read in a storytime environment while leaving plenty of room for questions to and from young listeners.  Garcia and Colette’s compromise leads to a good lesson and a feeling of satisfaction for readers.

Anything you didn’t like about it? It is implied that Garcia and Colette are  bilingual (in the way they say “goodbye” before their adventures), but this is never done again.  This feels like a missed opportunity as their diverse languages are one of the few “opposites” not explored repetitively.

To whom would you recommend this bookRecommended for a pre-k to first grade audience.  Caregivers and educators will greatly appreciate the STEM connections in the book and will have fun sharing it with kids.

Who should buy this book? Childrens’ library collections (public and school)

Where would you shelve it ? Picture book collection

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Storytime planners should read this and see if they can slot it into a theme about friendship or a STEM topic.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Melissa McCleary, Pembroke Public Library, Pembroke, MA

Date of review: June 18, 2017

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