Written and illustrated by Sarah Jones
Blue Manatee Press, 2015, Ages PreK-K
This story is about Lloyd Llama, who loves all things containing the double-L sound, such as spelling, cello, and the color yellow. Then Al Alpaca comes to town. He loves all things that begin with A, such as apples, art, and air guitar. At first, Al and Lloyd do not get along because they only liked things with their preferred letter sounds. Then, they realize that many things have both letter sounds, such as allergies, alleyways, and alligator shoes. They become best friends and true allies.
There is one sentence or a portion of a sentence on each page. This is a good way to divide the story because it allows the reader to focus on the spelling of the word and pay attention to why each character likes certain things. This is a good way to teach young children about alliteration and recognizing these two letter sounds in words. The author also uses exclamation points when explaining things that both characters like, which emphasizes them becoming friends.
The illustrations in this book really add to the story. When the reader looks at the pictures, they can see what activity or thing the author is referring to in the text, which provides further understanding. The illustrations also portray the character's facial expressions, which show the reader when the characters are in disagreement or when they finally become friends. Through the illustrations, the reader can see that although the two characters have different interests, they actually look very similar.
I would recommend this book for young students who are just getting a sense of literacy skills because it allows them to recognize common, repeated letter sounds so that they can become more familiar with them. This book also has a good theme for children which is that even if someone has different interests from you, you can still find common ground with them, and you might find a best friend in someone you never expected. I think this book is a cute way to introduce some important ideas to young children.
Reviewed by Rachel Baughn