“That’s why they call permanent markers permanent,” Harris’ mother says as she surveys Harris and his best friend Ayana’s handiwork in his bedroom.
In 13 illustrated vignettes, young Harris gets into big and little adventures at home at best friend Ayana’s house, and throughout his diverse city neighborhood.
Inspired by her own child, celebrated author-illustrator Amy Schwartz captures a preschooler’s sense of wonder and possibility, such as when Harris and Ayana vow to keep holding hands “forever and ever”—even while riding stampeding elephants.
Scholastic Reading Counts
Toddlers don’t look toward the future, unless it’s a birthday coming, of course, nor do they mull the past. They’re kind of in the moment. The brilliance of Schwartz is that she knows how to mirror the way they see the world. Harris, an imaginative, creative, and curious three-year-old, and his best friend Ayana are the central characters in these 13 episodes that are not necessarily connected, or even very important. A narrator chronicles unfolding events without any judgment at all—even when the little ones use permanent marker on the wall, even when they each come home from the beach wearing one sock. One day, Harris pretends he’s a truck all day long. And he learns so much from all of this play: His mother puts cream in a jar, and Harris shakes it like crazy. When he’s done, the cream is butter, which tastes delicious with bread and jam. This book is exactly what being a toddler is all about, and Schwartz shares it with simple language, wonderful art, and an attitude of sheer delight. Harris and Ayana are best friends who will hold hands forever, and readers need to know more about what becomes of these two cuties. A must for every collection serving toddlers and their adults.