Library Intern Book Reviews


Norton Young Readers


New York, New York, United States of America

Date of Publication




Date of Review



Children's and Young Adult Literature | Library and Information Science | Modern Literature


Children's literature, reviews, picture book


Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey’s story follows four little animals and their attempt to cross the river. They are stopped by something lurking in the river. The opossum believes it is a sneaky tail and tries to sneak past, the squirrel tries to be scarier than the tail, and the rabbit is mean to the tail. Each is flipped off the log and into the water. The mouse is last to go and realizes that you need to be kind to the tail because the tail was trapped. The mouse frees the alligator tail from ropes and in return the alligator helps him across the water. The mouse is worried that the alligator will eat him, but the alligator explains that friends don’t eat friends. The story excellently portrays a theme of kindness and fair judgment. Out of all the small creatures, the smallest and kindest became friends with what everybody feared. This encourages the children of the audience to choose kindness over being mean, scary, or quiet when trying make friends. The story also shows that you can make all sorts of friends, from the smallest to the biggest. Although the message is important for the intended audience, the mix of artwork and choice to portray the theme could be unsettling for some children. The story explains that those who fail to be nice are eaten by the alligator. Also, the minimalistic animals are emotionally stagnant and eerily displayed on the page. The illustrator made an excellent choice of assigning animals with a fur color that matches their dialogue color, making it easy to follow conversations that don’t highlight illustrated animal. The colors are warm and aren’t overstimulating for younger audiences, although the minimalist take may be confusing and unexciting for some children.

Not Recommended Janelle Burd, Centennial Library Intern, Cedarville University



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Review of <em>Somewhere in the Bayou</em> by Jarrett Pumphrey& Jerome Pumphrey

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