Chuck and Woodchuck by Cece Bell

I love Cece Bell's kooky sense of humor, best on display in her Sock Monkey Trilogy. Bell is also a great storyteller, as her fantastic, award winning graphic novel El Deafo proves. With  her newest picture book, Chuck and Woodchuck, bell combines both these gifts for a silly, sweet story of friendship.

It's show and tell and our narrator, Caroline, has brought her grandfather's ukulele to share. Other kids brought a sombrero, a baseball, a tiny pencil and a tadpole to share. Chuck brought a woodchuck, saying only, "This is woodchuck." Woodchuck turns out to be a hoot - and helpful. Especially to Caroline. When Caroline is cold out on the playground one day, Woodchuck gives her a hat to wear. It turns out to be Chuck's, and he will not let Caroline give it back.

This kind of thoughtful, sweet behavior from Woodchuck, along with silence from Chuck, continues. Dropped cupcakes are replaced, paintings are replaced and lines are whispered during the school play as Woodchuck, by way of Chuck, helps out Caroline. Gradually, Chuck finds his voice and he, Caroline and Woodchuck end the book by walking home together, hand in hand.

Chuck and Woodchuck is a gentle story about  a friendship that blossoms with the help of an unforgettable, unexpected middleman. And, of course, Chuck and Woodchuck is a great reason to trot out the classic tongue twister!

Source: Review Copy

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