My oldest daughter and I have been reading the advanced copies of middle grade books that I receive from Netgalley. I wanted to be able to include my twins, who are a little too young for middle grade books. So, my twins and I have been reading books from the Best Book Club Ever. You might remember these books from the late 1970s and early 1980s. They have been picking one book each night, and I have been enjoying rediscovering some childhood favorites.
Rupert and Polly was originally published in 1978, and it was written and illustrated by Jody Silver.
Rupert is an anthropomorphic goat, and Polly is his pet parrot. They get along well, and Polly loves when Rupert sings “Polly Wolly Doodle” to her. One night, Polly doesn’t feel comfortable sleeping in her cage, so she nestles on Rupert’s beard. Rupert is startled and yells at Polly, who flies out of the window. When Rupert wakes up and realizes that Polly is gone, he feels terrible- can he find Polly and apologize to her or is she gone forever?
The illustrations are very cute. Polly is a pretty green parrot, and Rupert is a rather distinguished goat who wears suits and carries a cane. They communicate with each other via voice bubbles, but unlike the Elephant and Piggie books, this book also has a narrative. Rupert’s body language when he is looking for Polly is especially nice- he’s slumped down, and his face looks very sad.
My girls enjoyed reading Rupert and Polly. We had a nice conversation about Rupert yelling at Polly; he didn’t mean to do it, but he was startled when he was sleeping. This is a nice story about forgiveness, which is a very important message: if you do something wrong, apologize, and if someone apologizes, forgive them and don’t hold a grudge.
I would recommend Rupert and Polly. This book has been out of print for years, but used copies are available on Amazon. This story will appeal to older preschoolers, as well as children in the early years of elementary school.