10. “Nutmeg and Barley” a budding friendship by Janie Bynum

I am trying to keep my book choices gender neutral or at least mix and match enough to satisfy  both boys and girl and their designated readers. Although, is it really possible to predict what topic can really appeal to our little ones? My son loves books about cars but every night he falls asleep to my story about Goldilocks that I must tell without any shortcuts and omissions.

“Nutmeg and Barley” was a random pick at the library. I saw a little squirrel and a mouse on the cover and I gave those cute rodents a chance. It is a purely feel-good story about a fun-loving squirrel and a loner mouse. They think they have nothing in common, yet some invisible forces attract them to each other. Having learned that a friend in need is a friend indeed, and  they allow for their friendship to blossom. So there is a message in it as well.

I do like the concept and my son was surely interested in hearing what happened next, but I have to admit that I didn’t really love the execution of the idea. The writing is a bit too wordy, there are lots of dialogues but nothing really stands out. The whole thing is a blare, as if the story was just a background to the pictures. I think I like the pictures more than the writing and I am not sure if that’s the right order.

Either way, the book is cute and it makes you smile.


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