by Carin Berger
I loved Berger's last picture book, The Little Yellow Leaf, and as soon as I heard about her latest offering, I knew I had to see it.
In this story, a blue bird and a bunny form a fast friendship. Over the course of the year, they enjoy spending time together, until the fall, when blue bird must fly south for the winter. Bunny waits for the return of his friend and blue bird finds their separation just as difficult. In the spring, they are joyfully reunited, with another pleasant year ahead of them.
Collage is one of my favorite mediums, and Berger uses sharp, exactly cut, found media to strong effect. Most of the pages feature lined notebook or graph paper backgrounds. Many of the flowers and trees are cut from magazines with a only a smidgen of the original words remaining. In many ways, Forever Friends reminded me of that old favorite, The Golden Egg, by Margaret Wise Brown; classic, simple, and true. The bunny asleep in the log, especially seemed to hearken back to Brown's original. The theme of friendship despite their obvious differences put me in mind of a much younger version of the Toot and Puddle series by Holly Hobbie, a little bit too. Short declarative sentences, paired with several pages of wordless frolicking make this book a natural for very young audiences.
I borrowed this book from a friend.