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The Perfect Friend    by Yelena Romanova & Boris Kulikov order for
Perfect Friend
by Yelena Romanova
Order:  USA  Can
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

It's a common situation: a new baby arrives and someone is bound to feel left out, usually the older sibling. In this case, the older sibling is Archie, the family dog.

Archie wants someone to play with. His previous companions - a fish, a turtle, and a rabbit - did not turn out to be good playmates. But when his family arrives home with Max, the new baby, they all but forget about Archie. He rebels in some naughty ways, which are humorously portrayed by the illustrator. The family ultimately realizes that they are ignoring Archie and give him the attention he craves. And eventually Archie finds that the best friend he has yearned for is right under his nose.

The artist, Kulikov, is known for his mixed media illustrations. In this title, the illustrations are exaggerated, with a comical quality to them. Archie is personified with expressions that reflect his all too human emotions of loneliness and jealousy. The Perfect Friend is well written, but it's the illustrations that make it even more worthwhile.

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