Review by Kristi Mahoney
Amidst heaps of picture book friendship stories, I’m Sticking With You, (Henry Holt and Company, 2020), written by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and illustrated by Steve Small, may be one you’ll want to hoard away with you for winter.
In it, Bear vows to be there for and do everything with his best friend, Squirrel. But when Bear’s enthusiastic devotion wreaks havoc on his buddy’s things and space, Squirrel decides their friendship may becoming a little… over-bearing. The two continue to seesaw between the ups and downs of friendship in a quest to determine if, through thick and thin, real friends will stick together. Packed with heart and sprinkled with humor, this celebration of friendship will be adored by readers of all ages.
If you’re looking for a mentor text on first person rhyme and/or dual narrator transitions, I’m Sticking With You, is worth checking out. Prasadam-Halls’ first person rhyme flows seamlessly as the reader is introduced to the character’s thoughts and feelings: first Bear’s, then Squirrel’s, then both together. The author brilliantly transitions these segments with well-timed pauses to the story’s rhythmic meter and perfect comedic timing during the height of emotion. She also does an excellent job of leaving room for the illustrator to provide important clues and Small’s illustrations accompany the story in the best way possible. Simplistic backgrounds allow ample opportunity for clever details, body language, and these endearing characters’ unmistakable expressions to take center stage. Like Bear and Squirrel’s friendship, I’m Sticking With You, is definitely a keeper.
To learn more about Smriti visit her website here or find her on Twitter @SmritiPH. To learn more about illustrator Steve Small visit his website here.
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