SUN AND SHIRO AND THE POLKA-DOT SNAKE

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Sun and Shiro are good friends. Sun is a boy with curly brown hair and pale skin. Shiro is a white dog with a white-tipped brown tail. In summer, they explore the house and garden, discovering insects and animals, flying homemade kites, and watching the moon at night. In the fall, they run through fields of acorns and go on leaf hunts. They especially love apples of all kinds. But they aren’t the only ones; geese, a pig, and a maggot each take their share, along with a polka-dot snake, who eats so much he becomes stuck in an apple and needs Sun to set him free. These stories, contained within one long narrative, demonstrate how friends help one another and do things together. The weighty text tends to tell rather than show, using little dialogue and instead declaring insights in the narrative. This is disappointing, especially when compared to the simple yet charming illustrations that place small, brightly colored items against white backgrounds for high contrast. The mixed-media illustrations seem to use textured papers or felt, which lend form and weight to the objects. Moreover, the design of the book leaves lots of white space around the objects, emphasizing their importance and central placement on each spread.

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