Bogart and Vinnie: A Completely Made-Up Story of True Friendship
Author: Audrewy Vernick
Illustrator: Henry Cole
Published June 18th, 2013 by Walkers Children
Goodreads Summary: When Vinnie, a crazy-happy dog, gets lost while visiting a nature preserve with his family, he finds comfort in the company of Bogart, a big, lazy rhinoceros. Vinnie loves his new friend, but Bogart would rather just take a nap. A friendship soon blossoms-even if Vinnie’s definition of “friendship” is very different from Bogart’s-and when word of their unique situation spreads, Bogart and Vinnie are a worldwide sensation! But as soon as their fifteen seconds of fame ends, what’s left is a bond even Bogart can’t ignore.
Pairing picture-book veteran, Henry Cole, with up-and-coming author, Audrey Vernick, this clever spoof of the unendingly popular interspecies animal-friendship story is full of heart and humor.
My Review: I love Vinnie! He is one of the happiest, joyful characters in a picture book every. Just seeing him makes me smile. I mean, how could Bogart not want to be his friend. But the funniest part of the friendship is the opposite attracts aspect. Bogart is not happy and joyful. He is content with standing on his hill eating grass, but then here comes Vinnie to change his life. Vernick cleverly plays off of the unlikely friendship hype (which is so adorable!), but without making fun of it.
Teacher’s Tools for Navigation: This book would be so much fun to read after introducing say Owen and Mzee or other unlikely friendships (always an easy compare and contrast activity), but then what would take it to a whole new level is to ask kids to write their own stories about two animals that are unlikely friends—I think some hilariousness would come out of these stories.
Discussion Questions: What makes Bogart and Vinnie unlikely friends?
We Flagged: “Way in back, rarely visited, stood Bogart, a square-lipped rhinoceros. He breathed in the grassy peace of the rhino range—his alone. He cherished the quiet, his tail curled with happiness.
Vinnie raced straight toward Bogart as though reuniting with an old friend.
“I love you! I’m Vinnie! Hi!”
Nobody knew what attracted Vinnie to Bogart. Was it his color? His shape? His horn? His other horn? THe way he completely ignored Vinnie?” (p. 6-7)
Read This If You Loved: Owen and Mzee by Craig Hatkoff, Elephant and Piggie (series) by Mo Willems, Penguin on Vacation by Salina Yoon, You Will Be My Friend by Peter Brown
**Thank you to Julie at Bloomsbury for providing a copy for review!!**