Playful shapes and deft use of white space illustrate a fresh and funny tale about sharing.
Peanut sits on the floor, gazing lovingly at her new ball. Enter Fifi, who wants that ball. She tries grabbing; she tries politeness. “But Peanut didn’t want to share.” Fifi proposes several imagination games for which the ball is, naturally, required. From “Basketball?” to “Dough! It’s bread dough and we’re bakers and we’ve got to knead it and push it and pound it,” Fifi cajoles and Peanut refuses. “Not dough,” Peanut replies. “Just a ball.” The cream-colored backgrounds are clean and spacious, placing sharp focus on the girls. Schmid codes Peanut and Fifi by shape: Everything Peanut is rounded (body, head, ponytails, the ball), while everything Fifi is angular (face, ponytails, triangular dress with lightning bolt). Even a hilarious paper-airplane message—“Dear Ball, Wanna Play?”—is sharply triangular, and the reply—the airplane crumpled up, with “No” written on it—is roundish. Pale blues and oranges sit inside bold black outlines. Bits of rhyme nestle into the text: “It was brand-new. It was bright blue.” Fifi’s final power play briefly orchestrates a painful turnabout, but a page claiming “The end” is only teasing, and the real end sees Peanut and Fifi contentedly off into outer space—together.
Humorous, realistic and cheerfully free of didacticism. (Picture book. 3-5)