________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 2. . . .September 12, 2014


Starring Me and You. (Piggy and Bunny).

Geneviève Côté.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2014.
32 pp., hardcover, $16.95.
ISBN 978-1-894786-39-3.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 2-6.

Review by Chasity Findlay & Gregory Bryan.

**** /4



I want to do MY play!

I want to do it MY way!

Grr… When I’m angry, I grumble and pout.

When I’M angry, I kick and SHOUT!

When we fight, I’m sad inside.

When I’M sad, I cry and cry.


Geneviève Côté’s new picture book features two friends who are very different from one another. Shy, sensitive Bunny and lively, boisterous Piggy’s major differences are revealed as they attempt to create and perform a play. They discover quite quickly that they have very different visions for the play. Bunny wants to dress up as sunflowers and sing a duet while Piggy would prefer to be pirates on a shipwreck. The collaboration comes to an abrupt halt when the two pals cannot seem to agree on an idea. Bunny and Piggy become upset as they deal with this conflict. The narrative goes back and forth between Bunny and Piggy’s perspectives as each explains how they express various emotions. Bunny and Piggy soon realize that playtime is most enjoyable with your best friend by your side.

internal art     Côté effectively uses anthropomorphised animals to communicate several valuable lessons to young children. The ideas of friendship, compassion, expressing feelings, and the importance of compromising are conveyed in a straightforward manner so that all young children will be able to understand. Each two-page spread contrasts the perspective of the reserved Bunny with that of the gregarious Piggy. The left side of each spread deals with Bunny’s thoughts and feelings while the right side shows readers Piggy’s point of view. It is likely that children will begin to identify with one or both of the animals as the story progresses. The different fonts that are used for each animal’s point of view symbolically represents the unique ways that each of the friends expresses their emotions.

     Côté’s use of simple, repetitive language will allow readers to easily grasp the big ideas involved. Each two-page spread contains a rhyming couplet which will encourage children to predict the next line. As the text is short and relatively straightforward, young readers will quickly start to understand Piggy and Bunny’s distinct personalities as they are revealed through the story.

     Cheery, imperfectly drawn and shaded illustrations contribute to the lighthearted feel of the text. The carefree, whimsical, mixed media artwork perfectly complements the rhyming verse. A simple colour palette consisting of mainly reds, pinks, greens, and whites is used on each page. The consistent colours used throughout add to the simplicity of the text while allowing readers to stay focussed on the central ideas being conveyed. Each full-page drawing which perfectly captures the animal’s emotion will encourage readers to predict the corresponding line. Readers who notice Piggy’s frog friend in each illustration will enjoy seeing its reactions to Piggy’s antics.

      This is Côté’s third book in the Piggy and Bunny series. This title features a sweet story involving Piggy and Bunny coupled with whimsical artwork, just as with its predecessors, Me and You and Without You. Readers who have gotten to know Piggy and Bunny will certainly enjoy this third installment. Starring Me and You adds further details about this enjoyable, yet instructive, relationship that will show readers what it means to be a good friend.

     Starring Me and You teaches children the valuable lessons of respecting the differences of others and importance of compromising in relationships. These are big ideas that children from ages two to six will likely face on a day-to-day basis as they attempt to play and work cooperatively with their friends and classmates. Starring Me and You opens up the opportunity for a vast array of conversations between adult and child on the ideas of mutual respect and compromise. This heartwarming tale is sure to be appreciated and enjoyed by children and adults alike.

Highly Recommended.

Chasity Findlay is a high school English teacher and a graduate student at the University of Manitoba.

Dr. Gregory Bryan is a member of the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba where he teaches children’s literature classes.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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