Amos & Boris by William Steig proves that sometimes simple is best. This lovely little book is a wonderful treatise on friendship. In a day and age when toys flash and beep and phones are always ringing, it’s nice to sit down to read something lovely and charming and quietly brilliant.
The author deals with some rather heavy issues during the telling of this story. Some parents who have read this book to their children believe the author should be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his novel children’s works. This book tackles many themes in life which are often difficult to understand with grace and ease, while remaining witty and charming. This book has truths and understanding to impart to young and old alike, thereby making it exquisite reading for all.
Amos & Boris is a simple story of a mouse and his friendship with a whale. It seems an unlikely friendship, doesn’t it? One can’t ever say where friends will find each other, or where they will end up. The mouse lives by the ocean. He enjoys the sound of the surf and the smell of the air. But one day he suffers a sailing accident and a whale comes to his rescue. The two quickly become friends. Through their friendship, readers are exposed to themes of courage, friendship, love, and unselfishness.
The characteristics found in this book and they way in which the author deals with them for small children has been called, “poignant” and powerful. It relates meaningful stories as the two characters interact and travel life’s paths together. Child and parent alike can extract messages from this story.
Steig’s genius is in his humorous text. The unadorned story plays out like a melody. Readers will also become fast friends with the characters. The precious illustrations done in pen and ink with splashes of color only add to the allure of this book.
Children’s books like Amos & Boris don’t come around every day. This is a sweet little keeper of a book that will be pulled out at bedtime night after night.