CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 30. . . .April 6, 2018
Ira Crumb Makes a Pretty Good Friend, by comedy writer Naseem Hrab and illustrated by Josh Holinaty, is a book that any “new kid” will be able to relate to, whether young or old. Hrab uses simple, fun language and comic like prose to keep young readers entertained. Ira is “…trustworthy. He’s always super helpful” (pp. 3-4). However, being the new kid in town, he’s forced to “eat alone at lunch” (p. 8), and, therefore, he decides to come up with some interesting ways of making friends. These ways include dance parties, sandwiches, and “show[ing] everyone how cool he is” (p. 15). Along with Hrab’s description of Ira, there are comic style depictions of his adventures on each page. As each page turns, more characters (including a talking sandwich) are introduced, all of which are sure to engage readers of all types. This story is one with an all too familiar feel of being “new” – but with an ending that sheds a positive light on being a newcomer.
Holinaty’s illustrations are bright, vibrant, and full of energy. Holinaty’s drawing style is reminiscent of Raina Telgemeier; the comic illustrations are full of movement and expression. The illustrations are not constrained to any one piece of the page; rather, they are perfectly intertwined with the story. Holinaty’s art is the perfect match for Hrab’s sweet (and funny!) story.
Naseen Hrab’s Ira Crumb Makes a Pretty Good Friend would be a welcome addition on any bookshelf. This story is perfect to be read to (or by) any young student entering a new town, school, or club.
Nikita Griffioen is a high school teacher in Abbotsford, BC. She writes and illustrates her own stories which she hopes to have published one day.