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Product Details

Maverick Arts
Publish Date
10.3 X 10.6 X 0.5 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author

Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, Alison Donald now lives in the UK with her husband and three children. She is a writer and works as a pediatric occupational therapist, helping children with special needs reach their potential.
Alex Willmore is an illustrator/designer whose passion lies in character design. Born in Northampton, England, Alex has been drawing characters since the moment he first picked up a pencil. A love of animals and picture books have inspired him and led to a career in illustration. Alex has been twice nominated for the Sheffield Children's Book Award, was long-listed for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2020, and is currently nominated for The Federation of Children's Book Groups Children's Book Award 2020.


"Alfred the bull has a good life on a spacious farm with his best friend, a boy named Tom. The two have always been close, playing together, sharing toys, and enjoying the outdoors. Things begin to change when Tom starts school. Alfred has to wait all day for his friend to come home. One day, Tom announces that he wants an adorable pet. Alfred does what any bull would do. He borrows the farmer's cell phone and does a search for adorable pets. The pictures gave Alfred an idea. He could become so charming Tom wouldn't need or want a cute pet. He takes up painting and tries to act cute. He even goes to great lengths to look adorable but everyone laughs at him. Alfred knows he is beaten when Tom comes home with a kitten. But who is the pet really for? Young children will love this silly but very entertaining book. Watching Alfred do whatever it takes to be adorable makes for an amusing tale. The illustrations are perfect for a young child. The pictures are clean, large, and incorporate just enough detail without making them overstimulating. The animals have unique personalities and expressions, especially Alfred. VERDICT This is a sweet story about a great friendship. The two pals show how far each will go to make the other happy. A worthwhile purchase."--School Library Journal


"Alfred the bull is quite confident in his friendship with farm kiddo Tom--until, that is, the little boy comes home from school declaring he needs a pet and it must be adorable. Not quite sure what the word means, Alfred does what anyone would do: he looks it up on a smartphone (borrowed from the farmer). The picture of a goat pushing another goat in a shopping cart is indeed charming, but Alfred's attempt to mimic that adorableness by pushing a calf in a wheelbarrow is more disastrous than delightful, as are his subsequent efforts at meme mimicking. It turns out, though, Tom was looking for a perky pal not to replace Alfred but to befriend and keep Alfred company while Tom is at school. A wonderful silliness refreshes the 'just be yourself' trope here, and the gentle poking at internet wholesomeness manages the ironic feat of including utterly precious images (who doesn't love a dog in a teacup?) with a subtle undercurrent of 'really ' Illustrations have the definition of colored pencil and the gentle warmth of watercolor, and the larger spreads and full bleeds are rich with visual humor. Shaggy Alfred the Highland bull is pretty darn appealing, and two dot eyes and a slash of eyebrow easily convey his disdain for the entire enterprise of cuteness as well as his need for Tom's love. A perfect blend of charm and snark makes this an endearing storytime choice. KQG"--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books