Washington Post

The Washington Post: Absolutely Not

This gently witty tale stars two bugs—Gloria, who looks like a grasshopper and her friend Frieda, who might well be an ant. Like Russell Hoban’s Frances books, it is composed mostly of repartee, since, like Frances and her sister (also a Gloria), the heroines are constantly at odds. “Look around you,” says Gloria, the impulsive one. “Isn’t this a perfect morning?” “Absolutely not,” says wary Frieda. “It’s frightening.” And so it goes throughout the walk Gloria persuades Frieda to join her on, with the pictures slyly commenting on their exchanges (is that a log or a dog? a giant or a bicycle?) until both are proved right in a clever and very satisfying ending.