Yelfred and Omek have been best frints since they were little blobbies. They play and snack, and sometimes they even fight, all in a language similar to but slightly different from, English. When Omek decides to borrow Yelfred's new spaceship without asking (and then crashes it), it sparks the biggest fight yet.Read more...
Yelfred and Omek have been best frints since they were little blobbies. They play and snack, and sometimes they even fight, all in a language similar to but slightly different from, English. When Omek decides to borrow Yelfred's new spaceship without asking (and then crashes it), it sparks the biggest fight yet. Can these two best frints make up and move on?
Award-winning picture book creator Antoinette Portis delivers a new universe of cleverness and imagination in this hilarious, sweet, and otherworldly book about friendship.
- ISBN-13: 9781626721364
- ISBN-10: 162672136X
- Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
- Publish Date: July 2016
- Page Count: 40
- Reading Level: Ages 3-6
- Dimensions: 9.19 x 9.5 x 0.38 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-04-25
- Reviewer: Staff
On Planet Boborp, “teef are long and tempers are short,” yet two lookalike pink and purple aliens “have been best frints since they were little blobbies.” Portis (Not a Box) pictures the frints, Omek and Yelfred, as bubblegum-tinted spheres with otterlike tails, spindly limbs, and prehensile antennae. The frints’ volatility mirrors Earthling rivalries, despite a winking refrain that we have no such drama “here on planet Earth.” When Yelfred receives a spossip (spaceship) for his blurfday, Omek takes it for a spin and schmackles it to pieces. Yelfred bites Omek’s tail off (“Luckily, on Boborp, tails grow back”) and calls him a “double-dirt bleebo.” After cooling down, they fix the vehicle with “taypo” and a “sturpler,” restoring their frintship. Portis tinkers gleefully with familiar language and provides a Boborpian glossary on the endpapers, just in case. Her dot-matrix layers of retro color add dimension to the simple shapes and close-up images, and her flamboyant misspellings and soundalike words let beginning readers in on the sly jokes while crafting an all-too-knowing portrait of what frintship often looks like. Ages 4–7. Agent: Deborah Warren, East West Literary. (July)
A playful picture book for your little space cadet
It’s all fun and games till your best friend bites off your tail. In her latest picture book, Antoinette Portis expertly captures the dynamics of human toddler play in the form of two aliens from planet Boborp.
“Yelfred and Omek have been best frints since they were little blobbies.” This, the book’s opening sentence, gives readers a taste of the creative wordplay therein. Portis also brings readers a Boborpian Glossary on the front and back endpapers—which are, quite possibly, the most entertaining endpapers of the year. There’s almost no need for this glossary, as readers will run with the alien words, assimilate quickly and have a blast.
On planet Boborp, “teef” are long and tempers short. This, Portis notes with a knowing wink to the reader, is not at all how it is on Earth. Heightened emotions and fierce loyalties are the name of the game, as Yelfred and Omek’s playdate—starting with a “nice yunch”—devolves into a mighty meltdown. After all, frints on this planet tend to “use their teef and not their words.” Not like on Earth, of course. When one frint bites the other’s tail off—don’t worry, they regenerate on Boborp—the friendship is momentarily ended. Until it’s not. Because this is the way of young creatures, no matter the planet they call home.
Portis’ palette is eye-popping (no pun intended, given that the frints’ favorite game is eye ball in the peedle pit, which involves playing catch with eyeballs) with bright, heavily saturated hues. The humor and pacing are spot-on, and in the closing endpapers, readers will find an invitation to make up their own words. (“Your turp!”)
It’s out of this world.