Reviews for Alex and Lulu : Two of a Kind

Booklist Reviews 2009 May #1
*Starred Review* Alex and Lulu are best friends. That's because they like a lot of the same things: running, jumping, and swinging at the park. But there are ways in which the duo differ, and when Lulu notes--"We are just SO different"--Alex begins to worry. He remembers that Lulu doesn't like soccer because it squashes her flowers. He wants to play ship's captain, and she wants to paint. Oh, dear. Alex confronts Lulu with the news that they might be dreaded opposites, but she calmly tells him she doesn't think so. Opposites are things like big and small, wet and dry, slow and fast. Alex and Lulu may be different, but they are "together." There are many books about friends who don't see eye to eye, but this one is notable both for the clarity of its message and for the delightfulness of its art. In simple language (and with the added bonus of a lesson in opposites), this cat girl, Lulu, and dog boy, Alex, capture the essence of friendship and find the ways differences can enhance compatibility. (In the last spread Lulu is painting the cardboard boat that Alex is piloting.) This is also a particularly attractive piece of bookmaking. Alex and Lulu frolic on hefty pages against backgrounds of saturated color. Simple geometric shapes, bright colors, and bits of collage invite little ones into a safe, yet expansive world. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

ForeWord Magazine Reviews 2009 May/June

Children often struggle with their friendships because they do not fully understand them. Author Lorena Siminovich seems to have had this in mind while writing Alex and Lulu: Two of A Kind. Siminovich is an established author and illustrator, as well as the owner of a modern art company, Petit Collage.

Alex and Lulu, a dog and a cat, are best friends who share every part of their day. As the day progresses, Alex and Lulu realize they do not agree on everything. For instance, when it starts to rain, Lulu wants to rush home, but Alex "doesnt want to stay dry" and wants to take his time; at another point, Alex thinks about playing soccer, but then remembers Lulu doesnt like soccer because it "squashes" her flowers. Their day continues like this: Lulu is calm and observant, while Alex is active and adventurous.

Siminovichs illustrations fill the pages with a wide variety of colors and textures. Bright reds and blues are mixed in with polka dots, textured walls and rain puddles, and chalk-like drawings of buildings and furniture. The text is integrated into the illustrations, allowing the reader to delve further into the art.

Alex and Lulu is not only a sweet story of a dog and cat, but also the enchanting tale of a maturing friendship. This book would serve as a great tool for teaching social skills to children. It is simply told and beautifully illustrated, with the ability to provide a child insight into his or her struggles. (February)

©2009 ForeWord Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Fall
Dog Alex worries that he and his best friend Lulu, a cat, are too different: Alex loves jumping in puddles while Lulu wants to stay dry; Alex goes exploring while Lulu paints. Ultimately, Lulu reassures Alex, "it's because we're so different that we have the most fun." Genial illustrations using simple shapes and eye-pleasing patterns enhance this opposites-attract story. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 March #1
Clean lines and muted colors lend a simple charm to Siminovich's flat cartoon illustrations--which compensates, at least in part, for her jackhammer style of lesson delivery. Alex (a dog) and Lulu (a cat) love pillow fights and playing on the swings. But because he also likes sports, climbing trees, jumping in puddles, pretending to be a sailor and other boy things, while she's more into painting, reading and flowers, Alex begins to fret that they're "too different to be friends." After going off on a tangent with a disquisition on "opposites," Lulu leadingly restores his equanimity by explaining that " ‘sometimes it's because we're so different that we have the most fun when we're--' ‘Together!' shouts Alex." Most younger children aren't likely to be so analytical about their friendships--and those who are may be more convinced by the many better articulated celebrations of differences, from Frog and Toad and Tony Johnston's Alien and Possum on. (Picture book. 4-6) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 May

PreS-Gr 1--Alex, a white dog with a large black spot over one eye, is best friends with a white cat with black markings. One day, Lulu gets her pal thinking about the ways in which they are different; for example, Alex enjoys soccer and playing ship's captain, but Lulu prefers painting flowers. He worries that their relationship is in jeopardy. To reassure him, Lulu offers several examples of true opposites ("big and small," "wet and dry") and reminds Alex that they share many interests in common (pillow fights). What's more, their differences can mesh, making the friendship solid and interesting. Siminovich's spare scenes offer patterned backgrounds and an occasional charming detail, such as a trio of ants carrying a leaf umbrella or a "FRAGILE" packing sticker on Alex's homemade boat. The block figures, who always seem to be on tiptoe, pose in linear fashion. With their retro feel and lack of fuss, the artwork is delectable. Despite stereotypical gender roles, the text serves both storytellers and independent readers.--Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA

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