From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2–A boy describes his devoted affection for a friend with whom he plays, dances, and shares secrets. Then she moves away, and he is all alone. He misses her terribly and vows to find her. Readers will cheer his bravery as he crosses a swift river, climbs over a steep mountain, and travels through a dewy meadow and shadowy forest to find her. Ultimately, he stumbles across a flower garden. With a bouquet in hand, he finds his friend, reunites with her and (playfully) marries her. Both are humorously shown in oversize adult apparel, holding hands. The concluding page shows a scanned photograph, taken in 1932, of the author and a long-lost friend at age three. This story of love and determination is illustrated with Carle's extraordinary signature artwork. Layers of tissue paper and acrylic paint create a unique blend of colorful images. For anyone who would cross rivers and scale mountains for a beloved friend, this warmhearted story will create an emotional response. Young readers will learn the value of friendship and its many challenges.–Krista Welz, The North Bergen Public Library, NJα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
A boy’s best friend moves away, but he is determined to find her. After swimming across a wide river, he falls asleep under the stars. He walks across a broad meadow and through the rain. He falls asleep and dreams of floating on a cloud. Awakening in a deep forest, the frightened boy runs until he reaches a garden, where he gathers flowers and gives them to . . . his friend. They play together. They get married. It’s an odd, dreamlike story for a picture book, yet the artwork is strong and unmistakably Carle’s, created with painted tissue papers, usually as collage elements. The children appear only in the book’s beginning and ending sections; in between, seven double-page spreads illustrate the story of the boy’s travels, without any human figures. Often dynamic and quite beautiful, these colorful illustrations of the river, the meadow, and so on are abstract in style and show up well from a distance. A picture-book tribute to the strength of childhood friendships. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Carolyn Phelan