Skunk and Badger are a delightful new odd couple in chapter book format, perfect for newly independent readers.
*Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake and illustrated by Jon Klassen. Alonquin, 2020. 136 pages.
Reading Level: Chapter Books, ages 6-10
Recommended For: Ages 6-10 (all, as a read aloud)
Badger is a geologist who lives in his aunt’s house and does Important Rock Work. A classic introvert, he loves his quiet, deliberate work. He does not like to be interrupted. When Skunk arrives, he tells Badger that Aunt Lula has offered him a place, too! She is sure Skunk and Badger will be best friends! Skunk cannot wait to move in! He will make breakfast! He will talk to chickens! Badger does not share Skunk’s enthusiasm. At. All.
Odd couples are stock and trade for easy readers and chapter books, but Skunk and Badger rise to the top much like Frog and Toad. Timberlake’s understated prose and Klassen’s black-and-white drawings reward perceptive readers even as they combine to create a cozy story of overcoming differences and getting past initial appearances. Bonus: there are chickens! Readers don’t have to treat this as an “issues” book, but it certainly fits if parents or educators are looking for titles that will raise awareness of differences, prejudices, or society issues like homelessness. Read the book with your children and enjoy the gentle humor and lovely story. Later, when big ideas come up in conversation, you might refer to Skunk and Badger as an example.
Overall Rating: 4.75 out of 5
- Worldview/Moral Rating: 4.75 out of 5
- Literary/Artistic Rating: 4.75 out of 5
*indicates starred review
Related Reading From Redeemed Reader
- A Review: A Complicated Case by Ulf Nillson (another odd-couple chapter book worth tracking down!)
- A Resource: Easy Readers List (scroll to the “best friends” category for some easier reads that have similar character match-ups as Skunk and Badger)
- A Reflection: Building a Child’s Personal Library by Gladys Hunt
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