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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
In and Out, All 'Round About: Opposite Friends is a children's picture book for grades K-3 written by Penelope Anne Cole and illustrated by Agy Wilson. They may not always agree and often seem to be going in totally different directions, but the girl and boy in this tale are the best of friends. These opposite friends are seen as they grow up together, from the early days of playing on jungle gyms and climbing trees, to running and playing on the city streets where they live. They seem to work in an easy and instinctively cooperative fashion, even when they disagree or have the inevitable arguments. One set of panels has them disconsolate over losing a soccer game and jubilant over a victory. Another has them camping out under a starry sky, and while one is reading and the other gazing at the stars, their contentment with each other's company shines brightly.
Penelope Anne Cole's picture book for children, grades K-3, In and Out, All 'Round About: Opposite Friends, celebrates friendship and the joy it brings to those lucky enough to have a best friend. This story is a perfect primer for new readers. Cole chooses her word pairs carefully and doles them out sparingly, making sure each set makes the biggest impact on the reader. Her story is filled with movement and the easy give and take that characterizes a good friendship. We see her friends running down city streets, playing sports and board games, even dressing up as grownups, and you can tell they will stay friends for life, in spite of distance, difference or other barriers. Agy Wilson's illustrations fit the story line perfectly and add to the feeling of motion Cole’s words evoke throughout the text. Each panel is rich in detail, and anyone who's ever spent any time in San Francisco will no doubt delight in recognizing some familiar landmarks, city streets and intersections. In and Out, All 'Round About: Opposite Friends is most highly recommended.