Hector and Louie are such great friends that they’re writing a book about being best friends. This is that book.
Watson offers a unique take on metafiction with this story of Louie, a black boy, and Hector, a boy who appears to be Asian, who are full of irrepressible energy and humor. Pham uses refined, clean-lined drawings to depict the real boys, while messy crayon illustrations indicate the pictures that the boys have drawn of themselves. In their book, the two friends list the reasons they are so compatible, including their mutual love of pythons, knock-knock jokes, and dancing. However, when it comes to keeping secrets, neither of them is very adept, and soon a few accidental slips devolve into a war of name-calling and insults. Illustrations show their real hands drawing kissy hearts and bawling babies in mockery, while mustaches and devil horns adorn each other’s likenesses. Soon, their friendship ends, as does their co-authorship, and each begins writing his own book. The inevitable and unsurprising happy ending resolves rather quickly, but this book is not about plot. It’s about the visual delight of seeing both the real and crayon versions of the characters use their joyful (or angry) energy to celebrate creativity and friendship. The raucous endpapers alone are worth the price of admission.
A tried-and-true friendship story executed with creativity and verve. (Picture book. 4-8)