We Are Going to Be Pals!

by Mark Teague (Author) Mark Teague (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

An egret and a rhinoceros navigate the ups and downs of their symbiotic relationship--which is more like a friendship!--in this warm and witty book from bestselling author-illustrator Mark Teague.

In a not-so-simple symbiotic friendship between two pals, Egret does his best to teach Rhino about how to be a friend. Friends eat together, have fun together, and help each other out, right? But they also respect boundaries, recognize their differences, and compromise (sometimes). When Egret ends up in a sticky situation, it's Rhino to the rescue as this unlikely pair realizes that communication and kindness are the key to any friendship.

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Kirkus Reviews

A bit of a miss for an accomplished author/illustrator. 

Publishers Weekly

Even a classic symbiotic relationship can get off to a rocky start, Teague (King Kong's Cousin) shows in this verbally and visually rich comedy. The impassive Rhino--the book's acrylic spreads home in on its sculptural bulk--seems perfectly content alone. An incessantly chatty egret is determined to get the relationship wheels turning, though, and with the sun-drenched, blue skies of the savanna forming a single-plane backdrop, the bird tries to ingratiate itself, unctuously prattling about the principles of friendship and even trotting out dad jokes ("You will have no egrets about that. Ha-ha"). When the rhino momentarily drops its stolid demeanor, bucking the egret off its horn, the bird presses on: "Let that be a lesson to both of us--a lesson about respecting personal boundaries!" But even though its unrelenting delivery receives little response, the egret is right about what it takes to be a good a friend--respect, compromise, communication, and kindness ("And loyalty and honesty and appreciation, of course")--and when the bird gets trapped in quicksand, the rhino exhibits all these qualities in its own inimitable way. Birds of a feather may flock together, but successful friendships involve finding someone whose heart is in the right place. Ages 4-8. (June)

Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Mark Teague
Mark Teague is an award-winning author and illustrator whose books include Fly!, King Kong's Cousin, We Are Going to Be Pals!, and You Are Not Sleepy!. He is also the illustrator of Cat Dog, written by Mem Fox, and the New York Times bestselling How Do Dinosaurs...? series, written by Jane Yolen.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Beach Lane Books
Publication date
June 20, 2023
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV002330 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Hippos & Rhinos
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Animal fiction
Cattle egrets
Heron family (Birds)
Cattle egret

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