Children’s Book Review: Yak and Dove by Kyo Maclear

Book Review Children Friendships

Yak and Dove are two unlikely friends. Dove wishes they were twins and perhaps this would make them closer and more alike. Yak is big and furry; Dove is small and loud.

“Yes, Yak. And if we were twins, we could invent rhyming names. Like Peter and Dieter. Or Johnny and Ronny.”

After a temporary parting Yak and Dove realize that by digging deeper they have more in common than they originally thought.

Maclear takes us through the realities of friendship. While differences are pointed out between the friends, I enjoy how it culminates into a celebration of those differences in the second section of the book and how they learn to work well together in the third section. This is a valuable lesson for young readers.

Dove molds his identity to fit the identity Yak needs him to become in order for the friendship to work. Yak points out how noisy the world is and expresses how he needs a friend who isn’t so loud.

“As I was saying, Dove, the world is getting noisier these days. So, I am planting some silence.”

Depending on your school of thought this could be viewed as a need to silence each other in order to live more comfortably. Friendship requires us to unearth our differences and grow the relationship by utilizing our voices.

Esmé Shapiro’s illustrations are whimsical and beautiful. I truly enjoy them. They remind me a lot of Carson Ellis’ illustrations. I never felt displaced by an illustration; they married well to the story.

I would loosely recommend Yak and Dove to a friend and wouldn’t purchase it. The concept of celebrating differences is not a new one in children’s literature. Yak and Dove takes on a different approach. It is fun and lighthearted but I fear a child may think he or she should expect being pushed out for how they are different, that they must change those characteristics to be a better friend. I am not of fan of silencing our friends to get what we want.

I read Yak and Dove in e-format. This is the first book I read from Kyo Maclear.

Yak and Dove will release on September 19, 2017 and published by Tundra Book (NY).

Images excerpted from Yak and Dove by Kyo Maclear. Text copyright © 2017 by Kyo Maclear. Illustrations copyright © 2017 by Esmé Shapiro. Published by Tundra Books, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited.

*Reviews are my own.