*Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake and illustrated by Jon Klassen

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)

cover of skunk and badger

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

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Betsy is the Managing Editor at Redeemed Reader. When she reads ahead for you, she uses sticky notes instead of book darts and willfully dog ears pages even in library books. Betsy is a fan of George MacDonald, robust book discussions, and the Oxford comma. She lives with her husband and their three children in the beautiful Northwest.

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