Jack likes trucks. Alex likes dolls. What will they play together? Their new favorite game, of course! Jack and Alex meet almost every morning in the sandbox at the playground. Jack likes trucks - big ones, the kind that can wreck things. Alex likes dolls - pink ones, with sparkles. And tutus. But Jack doesn't want to play dolls, and Alex doesn't want to play trucks. Readers will smile at the quintessential playground squabble on display in this amusing, relatable tale from Ann Stott and Bob Graham. Luckily for Jack and Alex, the day is saved with a little bit of compromise - what about dolls who drive trucks? - and the easy acceptance that characterizes the youngest of friendships. Not to mention a familiar jingle from nearby that reminds Jack and Alex of something else they both like: ice cream!Perfect for parents interested in encouraging and supporting nontraditional play, this picture book from Ann Stott questions gender stereotypes and celebrates diversity in a gentle and kid-friendly manner.
Stott's (What to Do When You're Sent to Your Room, 2014, etc.) simple prose focuses on the interaction between Alex and Jack, which leaves room for readers to interpret who the children are based on the illustrations. Neither child ever receives gendered pronouns...the story conveys a positive message about inclusiveness and compromise. This lighthearted story embraces the freedom of imaginative play.
Graham's familiar airy line and watercolor art brings the story to distinctive and cozy life, making it all part of a plausible park outing with moms chatting on the bench behind the boys and the individualized passersby, in a fully representational cast, clearly having their own rich lives. It's that dip into Graham world that really makes this a worthwhile experience.
--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Text is simple and repetitive, perfect for a younger preschool audience who might just be learning to share themselves. Simple and tender, this book delivers a powerful message without being didactic. A welcome addition to the collection of picture books that challenge gender stereotypes. A first purchase for one-on-one and small group sharing.
--School Library Journal
Graham, who's illustrated books on sensitive topics before, is the perfect choice for this one. His kid-friendly artwork portrays the dynamics of young childhood play in ways both realistic and fun. In both pictures and words, a smart take.
With breezy, expressive illustrations by Bob Graham, the book demonstrates, in a way that feels unforced, true, and timely, how different modes of play, of expression, of preference don't have to divide us.
--The Boston Globe