Star and Stripe are bovine siblings with a dream: to open a restaurant serving grassburgers just like their Mama’s. While the brother and sister are best friends, they constantly disagree over the direction they want their restaurant to take. Unsurprisingly, things tend to go wrong when they butt heads. When they hold hooves and move forward together, however, they find that they both thrive.
In the course of opening up their restaurant, the siblings learn a lot about negotiation and compromise, and how blind stubbornness can lead to both their downfalls. It’s a cute lesson for kids, peppered with delightful cow puns throughout, as Star the cow and Stripe the bull find the food truck of their dreams and squabble over how best to decorate it and market their product. More than just about compromising — because that, alas, has become a lesson where ppl these days feel you should compromise with the monstrous in order to keep the peace — this book teaches kids to truly listen to their friends and partners, in order to find the best solution for everyone instead of just defensively insisting their way is the only way.
The color illustrations are absolutely adorable, with loads of visual puns that enhance the story. Both M. J. Offen and Ruth Bennett have a background in animation and it shows in the vibrancy of this picture book, with cute, quirky characters and a terrific attention to detail that makes this book as much of a treat for kids as it is for the adults in their lives. My ten year-old and the one eight year-old I could pin down to read this with me both greatly enjoyed the liveliness of this story and its pictures.
I’m pleased that this will be the start of a series, as this was such a fun book with truly endearing characters and charming illustrations. My kids and I are looking forward to reading more!
Star & Stripe 1: Grand Opening! by M. J. Offen and Ruth Bennett was published March 1 2022 by Pixel + Ink and is available from all good booksellers, including