What We’re Reading Wednesdays: Riley And Rose in the Picture

In the coming weeks, you will be introduced to the amazing, articulate, and enthusiastic group of women who will make up the Simple Kids What We’re Reading Wednesdays Review Team.  The last of the details are being worked out, so before the team officially takes over this weekly feature, I thought I might take a moment to share with you a beloved book from our home library:

Riley and Rose in the Picture by Suzanna Gretz

rileyroseWe happened upon this book completely by chance – it was on clearance at Amazon, and I think I chose it so we could meet the minimum purchase requirement to qualify for free shipping on an order I was placing.  What a complete and utter delight this little surprise book has been for us!

Riley and Rose in the Picture is the story of two friends – Riley the dog and Rose the cat.  This particular day finds them in the house because it is raining.  Riley suggests they stay indoors and draw pictures, but evidently this has caused some scuffles between them in the past because Rose immediately reminds Riley that “we mustn’t fight.”

When Riley and Rose each begin drawing, it becomes clear that their approaches to art are very different.  Riley likes straight lines and identifiable shapes.  Rose is more of a free-spirit, and she takes a more imaginative direction with the art she creates.  Riley becomes increasingly agitated with Rose’s insistent elaboration of his shapes (for example, turning Riley’s circles into bugs “with legs and spots”), and Rose gets more and more frustrated that Riley won’t join her in her whimsical creations.

Eventually – you guessed it – they fight about it.  But the best part of the story unfolds after the big fight when these two friends realize that even though they disagree about how to draw, they can still draw together and have lots of fun.

Susanna Gretz’s text is a joy to read aloud (and I can still say that after having read it aloud many, many times) and her illustrations are bold, fun, and inspiring.  We first got this book when my oldest was two and a half, and it is still a favorite of hers at age four.  It has become even more meaningful in the time since her younger sister came along because the two of them are very different.  Riley and Rose show in a concrete way that just because two friends (or siblings) express themselves very differently doesn’t mean they can’t have fun playing together.

Do you have a favorite book that encourages cooperation and understanding amongst differing personalities?  I would love to hear about it!

(OH! And speaking of reading . . . there has been such a fantastic response to the Handmade Home giveaway. If you haven’t already, make sure you read Tsh’s interview with Amanda Blake Soule at Simple Mom where you’ll find another chance to win a copy of Handmade Home!)

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  1. I agree with you Riley and Rose it a great book. We borrowed it from the library and it was chosen frequently at story time. Does Stone Soup count?

    • @shelle, so cool! I have never come across anyone else who has heard of this book. Love it! It is definitely a family favorite here.

  2. Thanks for the recommendation. I haven’t heard of this one. One of our recent favorites about sibling rivalry is The Chicken Of The Family by Mary Amato. It has lovely illustrations and a humorous story about 2 older sisters who try to convince the younger sister that she is actually a chicken.

  3. I am so excited about The Great Kindness Challenge! Thanks so much for posting a link to it. I mentioned it on my blog today so that even more people will know about it.

    I am looking forward to spending time brainstorming with my girls all the kind things that we can do.

    Thanks again! The world could use some more kind acts!