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Ebb and Flo and the New Friend

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PreS-Flo's dog Ebb has a special spot in the bow of their small boat. One day, Bird flaps in and takes his spot. The pup is angry, but Flo is delighted. Everyone thinks Bird is just lovely. As Ebb's feathered companion follows him around and gets more and more attention, the jealous canine wishes it would fly away forever. As soon as he gets his wish, though, he begins to miss Bird and mopes about until her return. Although the writing is pedestrian and the story somewhat flimsy, children will be charmed by the illustrations of Ebb and the meddlesome Bird. Watery washes of color cover each page, evoking maritime surroundings. The dog's exaggerated features and Bird's silly expressions are endearing. Although there are better stories on this familiar theme, these pictures are too good to miss. The large, appealing illustrations and simple text make the book effective for storytime sharing.-Carolyn Stacey, Jefferson County Public Library, Golden, CO Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Simmons (Come Along, Daisy; Daisy and the Egg) here applies her soft-hued, luminous paintings to the subject of jealousy. Ebb, a small dog, sits "in her favorite spot" in the bow of the girl Flo's boat as Flo's mother rows or tows it through the fens. One day, however, the pooch finds herself joined by Bird, who thereafter seems not only to take over Ebb's special place in the boat but also to push Ebb aside in the affections of Flo and her family. Even Granny plays favorites, giving Bird tidbits that once would have been Ebb's. When Bird disappears as suddenly as she had come, Ebb thinks her secret wish has been grantedÄuntil she finds herself missing Bird and, in the end, she is grateful for her return. The expressive and winsome animal friends convey a range of emotionsÄdismay, envy, loneliness and contentmentÄin their postures alone. And, as in the Daisy books, the vibrant visuals create a tangible sense of a private, intimate world among the rivers and reeds. However, the human charactersÄSimmons's firstÄare less compelling and memorable. Though the plot may be familiar, the tale is sweet and childlike, and older siblings especially will identify with Ebb's plight. Ages 3-7. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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