Cork and Fuzz: Short and Tall
Illustrated by Lisa McCue
Ages 5 to 7
Penguin, 2006, 0-670-05985-4
Cork is a muskrat and Fuzz is a possum and despite their differences they are the best of friends. One day Cork realizes that they have a problem. Cork is older than Fuzz and yet Cork is much smaller than the possum. As Cork explains, “it is a rule” that someone who is older should be taller. So an adamant Cork and a reluctant Fuzz try to find a way to make Fuzz shorter, and then, because Fuzz cannot be made to shrink, they try to find ways to make Cork taller.
Unfortunately all their efforts turn out to be quite useless. Cork is still shorter than Fuzz. Cork then decides that since they are different, they cannot be friends. Poor Fuzz is quite miserable until he has a revelation, a revelation which finally helps Cork accept that being different is quite all right and that a muskrat and a possum can be the best of friends after all.
This sweet and gently funny early reader helps put the whole “we are different” discussion into perspective for young readers. We are reminded that friendship should always supersede the differences that exist between us. Delightful facial expressions and their obvious distinct personalities make Cork and Fuzz a winning team.
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