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Sometimes the unlikeliest friends form the greatest friendships. A funny, charming picture book from a dynamic duo.
Friends Yak and Dove are complete opposites. Yak is large and Dove is small. Yak has fur and Dove has feathers. Yak is polite. Dove is ill-mannered. Yak likes quiet. Dove likes noise. One day as Yak and Dove list their differences they come to the conclusion that maybe they aren't meant to be friends. In the hope of finding a new best friend, Yak holds auditions. But when a small feathered contestant sings Yak's favorite song, the two begin to think that maybe they are alike after all . . .
Yak and Dove whimsically captures the highs and lows of friendship through the three interconnected tales of two very different friends.
Odd-couple friendships are nothing new in children's literature, but seldom is one portrayed with the grace and sly humor Maclear and Shapiro bring to this story. Much of its appeal is in the personalities that make up this quirky dyad: hulking Yak is a well-mannered, phlegmatic introvert, while Dove is pushy, quick tempered, and a little self-important ("Yes. It's Dove," he barks into his cellphone. "Okay. Keep all my shares in futuristic gizmos"). Maclear (The Liszts) divides the story into three chapters, all told in spare but emotionally rich dialogue. The funniest chapter, "The Audition," finds Yak "lamenting" his recent estrangement from Dove and agreeing to a talent contest to find a new best friend who shares his interests and "values furriness in his companions." Shapiro (Ooko) fills her watercolor, gouache, and pencil illustrations with subtle comedy (the temporary winner of the talent show, a wolf, promptly latches onto Yak's tail in an attempt to eat him) and excels at depicting the quiet pleasures of being simpatico, when a look between friends says it all. Ages 4 8. Author's agent: Jackie Kaiser, Westwood Creative Artists. Illustrator's agent: Charlotte Sheedy, Charlotte Sheedy Literary.