Peas and quiet by Gabrielle Tozer
Ill. by Sue deGennaro. Angus and Robertson, 2018. ISBN 9781460752395
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Friendship. Getting along. With her lovely watercolour and coloured pencil illustrations, Sue deGennaro has beautifully realised the story presented by Tozer. Her understated, almost muted colours enliven the two little peas as they trip up in their friendship and learn to solve their problem. Pip and Pop are two peas in the pea pod, so alike its hard to tell them apart. They do everything together, but one thing aggravates Pip and another annoys Pop. Pip loves to sing while she does the dishes, her off key voice rising if Pop dares question her singing. But Pop has his own discomforting habit: he snores. One day Pop has had enough of the singing. He packs his bag and leaves. They say some hurtful things to each other, but Pip soon learns that life apart is life alone. She can sing to her heart's content, and cook all she likes, but when it comes to eating what she cooks, she thinks it better to have someone there. She wonders if Pop is alright, looking wistfully out of the kitchen window. One day a parcel is delivered to the door, and when it is opened, Pop jumps out of the box. He apologises for his grumpiness hoping Pip will let him in. She suppresses a smile and welcomes him back and they solve their problem with an ingenious solution.
Readers will love listening to the lovely rhymes of this tale, predicting the rhyming words at the end of each verse, and learning some of the verses to say aloud with the reader. They will adore the pictures of Pip and Pop in their checked and spotty pants, and love picking out all the detail which deGennaro includes in her meticulous drawings. This charming story stands alone but is also a useful story to lead children into discussions about friendship and getting along together. And of course, the underlying idiom or simile, 'like two peas in a pod' could be used to discuss those figures of speech, including puns as reflected in the title.