Our next-door neighbor has been renovating his home for the past six months. Thanks to Superstorm Sandy and some other setbacks, it’s been taking a lot longer than expected. But because he is such a kindhearted guy (and always apologizing for the noise and commotion), we could never truly be angry with him. So when I opened the pages of Wooby & Peep new picture book, I couldn’t help but look over my shoulder–had someone been spying on us these last few months? Did the author see when a tree guy was removing some broken limbs from next door and accidentally knocked over our garden fence? Let’s just say that sometimes neighborly mishaps make for new friends…like they do in this charming tale where a quiet, keeps-to-himself Wooby is suddenly befriended by a boisterous Peep (his name does not do him justice) who practically bends over backwards to get in Wooby’s good graces. And yet, every attempt at kindness–from fixing a broken fountain, to replacing a lost tree (ahem, ahem)–backfires. You might cringe from all this devastation if it weren’t for the hilarious comic-book panel illustrations and tongue-in-cheek asides from resident onlookers. And yet no matter how many times Peep fails, in the end, it’s the sincerity of a simple message–to have a friend, you have to be a friend–that resonates with us all. As for us, we’re looking forward to a housewarming party…any day now.
In a Nutshell: A heartwarming picture book that shows how friendship can sometimes happen when you least expect it.