Pen Pals Forever – C K Smouha, illustrations by J. Lindenberger


 Pen Pals Forever – C K Smouha, illustrations by J. Lindenberger, Cicada Books Ltd., 9781908714718, 2020

Format: Hardcover

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre: Picture Book

 What did you like about the book? This is a cute story about some very unlikely penpals-two small grey mice and one large grey elephant. Freddy and Pete are two city mice that are enjoying a day of skateboarding when all of the sudden, a huge white envelope falls onto their heads. They open it up and find a letter from someone named Annabel. She says she is grey with big ears and a big nose, is eight years old, and is looking for a penpal. Freddy is very excited about this letter because he is also grey, with big ears and a big nose, and he is eight years old. He sits down to write a note and the letters start going back and forth. Freddy tells Annabel about his adventures, but he also tells her about the Cheddar Gang that has been bothering him and Pete. Annabel tells Freddy about her science lab, but also about the interesting termite mound she found behind her lab. After some time, Annabel notices that she has not received any letters from Freddy. She is worried about the Cheddar Gang and sets off to help him. She is upset when she arrives at Freddy’s home to find the Cheddar Gang has completely taken over his house. It is at this time in the story when Freddy realizes that his pen pal is actually a huge elephant. Annabel’s long trunk comes in handy to suck up and remove all of the Cheddar Gang from Freddy’s house. He is very grateful for her help and he and Pete decide to go back with Annabel to see her home and lab. After they arrive, Annabel is horrified to see that the termites have made a meal of her lab. Freddy and Pete waste no time in returning the favor and set to work on rebuilding Annabel’s lab. All is well in the end and three unlikely creatures have now become wonderful friends.

The artwork in this story will be very entertaining for children. The graphics are colorful and there are comments and thought bubbles happening throughout the pages-almost like a comic. There is a lot to take in on each page and children will have fun looking at all the small details.

Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for children over the age of five years old. I would especially recommend it to children who enjoy a “busy” book with text, dialogue, interesting pictures, letters, and all kinds of fun things happening on each page. It is not really a story to rush through, but instead to take some time looking at all the little details on each page.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, anyone who works with children over the age of five years old.

Where would you shelve it? Picture Books

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, cute story with entertaining illustrations.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.

Date of review: October 27, 2020

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