Friday, May 17, 2013

Friends Forever--or Snack Time?

For a "fintastic" story about overcoming bias and stereotypes, Nugget and Fang by Tammi Sauer and Michael Slack, is at the top of the food chain.  Through expressive illustrations, hilarious diagrams, and well-placed aquatic puns, children will learn that differences can make a friendship richer. 

Nugget and Fang are best friends beneath the sea:  "They swam over. Glug.  They swam under. Glug-glug. They swam all around. Glug-glug-glug."  The two pals do everything together, despite the fact that Nugget is a minnow and Fang is a shark (with an exceptionally toothy grin). When Nugget starts school at Mini Minnows, Nugget begins to learn about the food chain, about predators and prey, and about how sharks eat minnows!  Nugget returns to Fang and explains how they can no longer be friends: "Shark are toothy.  Sharks are scary.  Sharks and minnows can't be friends."  Fang embarks upon a series of misinterpreted gestures to get his best friend back, but to no avail.  Even his mermaid costume goes unnoticed! 

Friendship stories like Nugget and Fang encourage children to consider and talk about their own behaviors and interactions with others, which can help with social development.  And, there is no shortage of friendship stories at the public library.  Another favorite of mine is Penguin and Pinecone, the story of a curious bond between an animal and a tree!  At least there is no perceived danger of one friend eating the other in this one.  Enjoy!

-Miss Ashley

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