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Anthony and the Girls    by Ole Konnecke order for
Anthony and the Girls
by Ole Konnecke
Order:  USA  Can
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

Anthony does everything in his power to get noticed by the girls playing nearby in the sandbox, but to no avail. He performs tricks and brings his own shovel and little toy car. Frustrated, he tries to build a house out of branches and other props. He is finally welcomed into their circle with a cookie after he cries when his makeshift house falls down. Once he is in the sandbox, along struts Luke, who comes bearing an even bigger car, shovel and hat.

Some might view the storyline as reminiscent of stereotypical male-female interaction, where the bigger the boy's car, the more likely he will get the girl's attention. Are the girls in the story being mean? Do they just feel sorry for him? Why does he need an invitation to get into the sandbox? While it is tempting to read too much into this sparse story (as I just did), I think young children will simply view it as Anthony's challenge, and will be happy when he is ultimately accepted by his peers.

The comic strip-like illustrations are reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon in their simplicity.

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