In Matthew McElligott’s “Absolutely Not” ($16.95, Walker) grasshopper friends Gloria and Frieda go for a walk one day in late summer. Gloria is the brave one; Frieda is a bundle of nerves.
Along the way, Frieda sees all sorts of suspicious and frightening things in the mundane. To this nervous bug, a winding river looks like a snake, a rotten log resembles a ferocious dog, even the pattern in leaves looks like hungry frogs.
Gloria has to calm her fretful friend at every turn, but then Frieda’s vivid imagination proves handy when the two trees she thinks resemble the legs of a bird turn out to be the real thing.
McElligott’s story is engaging and his renderings of these two “lady bugs” absolutely adorable. Recommended for ages 3-8.