Reviews for Friends stick together

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Rupert is a solitary rhinoceros with cerebral tastes: "I like reading dictionaries, listening to classical overtures, and eating cucumber sandwiches with no crust." Then Levi, a rambunctious tickbird, takes up residence on Rupert's nose-a textbook symbiotic relationship. Levi is loud, loves to burp, and makes gross jokes about how Rupert's ticks taste like chicken. Rupert finally shakes Levi loose, but soon realizes how much he misses his companionship and tick-eating abilities (without him, Rupert is pretty itchy). Harrison (My Friend Maggie) uses her signature visual elegance to provide an effective counterpart to her smartly observed stories of kid life. Rupert's embarrassment and misery are visceral, and his preferred vest-and-tie combos speak volumes about his buttoned-up personality, just as Levi's tank tops and shorts do. If this story is less satisfying than its predecessors, it's because Rupert seems more willing to adapt to Levi than the other way around; the common ground the friends find is essentially on Levi's terms. If this is symbiosis, it's a lopsided version. Ages 4-8. Agent: Abigail Samoun, Red Fox Literary. (Apr.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

K-Gr 2-Rupert, a quiet rhino, gets more than he bargains for when a loud and obnoxious tickbird named Levi shows up at school and hops onto his nose. At first, Rupert, who enjoys reading dictionaries, listening to classical overtures, and eating cucumber sandwiches, is annoyed by Levi's presence. The raucous bird enjoys corny jokes, armpit farts, and popping wheelies. The two spend a lot of time together until Rupert devises a plan to make Levi leave but somehow the persistent little tickbird manages to stick to him like glue, at least for a while. When Levi is finally out of Rupert's hair, the rhino finds himself alone and feeling terrible. In the end, the two agree to become friends, creating an unusual pairing full of laughs and unexpected surprises. Like most of Harrison's books, this story is visually appealing and uses metaphors to deliver a cleverly crafted message about the value of friendship and interdependence. Robust vocabulary enriches the story line and creates opportunities for teachable moments. Underpinning the story is a series of kid-friendly antics that will undoubtedly tickle a few funny bones. VERDICT Teeming with emotionally stirring messages about the benefit of symbiotic relationships, this book will not only serve as a great read-aloud but will also help reshape the future of character education.-Andrea Jamison, Lincoln Elementary School, Calumet City, IL Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Rupert the rhino is a bit put off by Levi the tickbird's enthusiastic attachment to him. Harrison mines the symbiotic relationship between real rhinos and tickbirds in her humorous story about anthropomorphic animals at school. Rupert is proper, socially awkward, and self-conscious, while silly Levi, the new kid at school, brims with exuberance and confidence. He tags along with (often literally on) an increasingly mortified Rupert, and the natural world informs the story when Rupert is embarrassed by Levi's loud enjoyment of ticks he plucks from his body in the cafeteria. "Yummy! Tastes like chicken!" Levi jokes in front of an offended hen and a mortified Rupert, who eventually decides "Levi has got to go." He tries various means of ridding himself of Levi, whose ever generous and loyal responses to various passive-aggressive moves stymie the rhino. Finally, Rupert directly tells Levi to back off, saying "I find your boisterousness a tad loathsome," and "Your uncouthness is slightly problematic." Predictably, but nevertheless satisfyingly so, Rupert ends up missing Levi when the bird, hurt and confused, grants the rhino the space he wants. Throughout, the text's humor is matched by Harrison's lively illustrations, which excel in visual characterization and provide funny asides to extend the story. The clothed animals are a stitch, both entirely animal and completely human.This friendship story sticks out. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Rupert, a reserved rhinoceros, enjoys reading dictionaries and listening to classical music. Levi, a boisterous tickbird, loves cheesy puns and air guitar. As narrator Rupert relates, Levi appears at school one day and, literally, latches onto him, causing loner Rupert endless embarrassment. From Levi burping the alphabet to enthusiastically eating Rupert's ticks at lunchtime, increasingly annoyed Rupert's had enough: Your uncouthness is slightly problematic, and then, when that doesn't get the message across, I want to be left alone. Soon Rupert discovers things are dull and lonely without Levi, so he visits the bird's home and apologizes (with a heartfelt knock-knock joke), and the two happily play air guitar together. Delightful, intricately detailed, and colorful acrylic illustrations showcase expressive, anthropomorphized animals in familiar settings and activities, which, along with comical asides and exuberant sound effects, extend and enrich Rupert's fairly straightforward account. This entertaining tale of friendship and symbiosis (defined at the start and end of the book) highlights appreciating others' unique characteristics and offers a multifaceted picture of what it means to stick together.--Rosenfeld, Shelle Copyright 2018 Booklist