Friday, May 18, 2012

One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo

Hello my fabulous reading friends!
The Queen here with a really cool book about friendship.
One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo (Cool name, don't you think?) and illustrated by David Small is a lively book about a dignified young boy who finds the perfect pet to fit his style. Their antics and the wonderfully simple illustrations will keep anyone eager to see what this mischievous duo will get away with next.

This story made me smile. Elliot seems like the haughty type of kid who hasn't much interest for "masses of noisy kids," but makes the best of his intellectual father's suggestion to take a trip to the aquarium. Elliot seeks the more quiet places and finds the most perfect friend. What transpires is some riotous fun and mischief.

I'm including this cool book in the Perfect Picture Book Friday list over at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. I think it'll be a fun addition to her growing list of wonderful children's books.

Happy Reading!
The Queen


Book Title: One Cool Friend
Author: Toni Buzzeo                                                                         
Illustrator: David Small

Book Information:

Publisher and date: Dial (January 10, 2012)
Reading level: Ages 5 and up
Book Info: Hardcover: 32 pages
Genre: Fiction Picture Book
ISBN: 978-0803734135

Book Theme:
Friends, misunderstandings, urban life, penguins, fathers and sons

First Sentence: Elliot was a very proper young man.

Book Summary
When well-mannered Elliot reluctantly visits the aquarium with his distractible father, he politely asks whether he can have a penguin--and then removes one from the penguin pool to his backpack. The fun of caring for a penguin in a New England Victorian house is followed by a surprise revelation by Elliot's father.

One Cool Friend debuts on the New York Times Best Seller list at #10 in Picture Books!

Activity Adventures:
Free Curriculum Guides:
One Cool Friend Activity Guide with Author's notes and bio.

Put on your own Reader's Theater of One Cool Friend.

Crafty Ideas:
Make a paper bag penguin puppet

Writing Prompts:
Think of an animal that seems like you. What would you need to take care of it? Where would it stay if you brought it home? What games would you play with it?

Write a story about your new pet.

Why do you think this penguin is so happy? Write a short story about what you think is going on. 
And by all means, share your ideas!

Authors Arena

Author: Toni Buzzeo,
MA, MLIS, is an author as well as a career library media specialist.
Toni Buzzeo is the award-winning Maine children's
author of fifteen picture books with four more
forthcoming. For sixteen years, she worked as a school
librarian in Portland where she honed her knowledge of
children's literature. Combining this knowledge with her
love of children, Toni writes about characters of all
stripes (including dinosaurs, loons, ducklings, teachers,
and librarians) who explore their worlds, their
relationships, and themselves in settings that include
peaceful Maine lakes, rocky lighthouse islands, as well as
aquariums and the interiors of fictional public and school
libraries. Toni is well known for her lively spirit and her
sense of humor.
bio from author website and

Illustrator: David Small
David Small is the Caldecott Award-winning illustrator of So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George. He received a Caldecott Honor medal for The Gardener by Sarah Stewart. He has also illustrated many other beloved picture books, which include The Library and The Journey, both by Sarah Stewart, and Imogene's Antlers, which he also wrote. He lives in Michigan with his wife, Sarah Stewart.
bio taken from author website and

Be sure to check out the author and illustrator's websites for more information and fun activities and a peek at Mr. Small's own sketchbook.


Julie Hedlund said...

I think my kids would love this - especially since they've seen Mr. Popper's Penguins at least 10 times! :-)

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

This book looks delightful! Thank you so much for sharing it, Jackie - I hadn't even heard of it yet and I know I won't want to miss it! :)

Unknown said...

What a fanstastic review Jackie! The storyline very interesting. It's now on my reading list, thanks for sharing this! That paper bag penguin is adorable :)

Kirsten Larson said...

Oh, that's funny. My son has been asking for a puppy (our elderly dog died last year). Let's just hope he doesn't nab a penguin from the aquarium instead.

Patricia T. said...

Another fun penguin book. Ths one looks wonderful and I want to know what happens. Great review!

Heather said...

I like the look of this one. Excellent review!

Vivian Kirkfield said...

Hi nice to meet you via Susanna's Perfect Picture Book Friday. :)
I love this book...we raised our three children in a Connecticut Victorian...I'll have to grab a copy and read it. Books for young children that help build the skills of friendship are so important!
I also love your author and illustrator spotlight...I would like to borrow this idea for my reviews as well. :)
Great activities and resources...wonderful review, Jackie!

Penny Parker Klostermann said...

Great first line. I love the cover, too. This will definitely be on my list to read.

Jackie Castle said...

I'd be more worried if he had an admiration for tigers or elephants.

Jackie Castle said...

Julie, Susanna and Jennifer,
Thanks for stopping by. I'm sure this book will do well once more people find it out there. Really good one, I think.

Jackie Castle said...

Great twist at the end! But I'm not going to tell. =)

Jackie Castle said...

Thanks for commenting! You may borrow any ideas I present here. Only a few are original, and just there to help spark ideas to get kids interested in reading.

Use whatever you find interesting.

Eric VanRaepenbusch said...

I have been wanting to read this book since I celebrated David Small's birthday. Thanks for reminding me!

Jackie Castle said...

Hi Penny and Eric, thanks so much for stopping by. I know you'll enjoy this lively, fun book.