Delicate earth-toned illustrations rely on fine, sketchy outlines, pale color highlights, and all-white backgrounds to humorously flesh out the spare text. Fragile, diminutive Ollie appears an unlikely match for his massive canine buddy, but amusing vignettes reveal these pals engrossed in painting, bike riding, people watching, dressing up, tree climbing, and, of course, digging and stick collecting. An endearing, visually rib-tickling ode to best friends.
Sweet and spare, the illustrations convey large feelings, especially Ollie’s worries, and his relief about discovering that Augustus doesn’t mind entertaining himself. This gentle account of separation anxiety and companionship is a nice tonic for first-day-of-school nerves, in the vein of Oliver and His Alligator (2013), by Paul Schmidt.