Year: 2013

Review

Illustrated by Stefano Tambellini
(Albert Whitman & Company, 2013)

"In five short chapters, Kimmelman explores how Sam and Charlie negotiate the rough patches of their friendship. Although the dynamic is familiar—think Marc Brown’s Arthur and Francine—what sets this story apart is that all the characters are Jewish, something that is matter-of-factly revealed in chapter two through Charlie and Sam’s mutual love of hamantaschen but never referred to directly. For many Jewish readers (and their parents), Kimmelman’s breezy, unshowy assumption of a shared faith and vocabulary will be refreshing; it also means she doesn’t stop her narrative to explain what a hamantaschen is, what Purim is, or, later, that “Cheery Bim” is a beloved Jewish camp song. In genial, full-color cartooned drawings, newcomer Tambellini underlines the messy and imperfect moments in a budding friendship." --Publishers Weekly