On the night of the shooting star by Amy Hest and Jenni Desmond

cover image

Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781406377330
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Friendship. Borders. In this fable for modern times, Dog and Bunny live next to each other. They carry on their own lives, doing what each does: Dog loves to knit and sits in the garden knitting and listening to his radio, while Bunny nibbles all day in the long grass on her side of the fence.
The beautiful illustrations show us the two lives, living next door but not interacting at any time. Each wonders what the other is doing but no one speaks. Each wonders why the other has no friend, but does nothing about it. Until one night a shooting start passes overhead. It is gone in an instant, but as each animal retires to their own houses, they think about what they have seen.
They resolve to do something, and Dog takes a plate of biscuits to the fence, while Bunny brings out cocoa.
Once the ice is broken, the two become inseparable friends, spending each day with each other doing the things they love to do and doing them together.
Readers will understand the message of the book immediately. It is a situation they will all know well, finding new friends, meeting new people, being reticent to make the first move. All sorts of discussion will emanate after reading this book, and children will eagerly scan the pages for detail about the lives of Dog and Bunny shown in the witty illustrations. And of course, talk about shooting stars, and how they occur and when they can be seen. Wikipedia has a concise definition of a falling or shooting star, and there are some photos of them on the internet.
Fran Knight