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Book Review: Rosalie and Truffle, Truffle and Rosalie by Katja Reider, Illustrated by Jutta Bucker

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Rosalie and Truffle, Truffle and Rosalie is a clever, deceptive little book. Two young dreamers meet and fall in love under the apple tree. Easy enough, but this story of true love is told from two perspectives. First is Rosalie and Truffle, “A Story of Love,” where Rosalie spends her days dreaming of true love. Flip the book and you have Truffle and Rosalie, “A Story of Luck,” where Truffle dreams of “being really lucky.” The clever part lies in the ending. Each story comes to a stop on the same double-page spread that shows the yin and the yang of Rosalie and Truffle’s love — and it works beautifully.

Rosalie is a sweet pink pig. Truffle, well, he’s chocolate brown and he’s just Truffle. Both lie under the apple tree to while away their days dreaming. Both are accused of having no ambition. When Rosalie’s mother castigates her for doing nothing, Rosalie says, “But I am doing something, I’m dreaming.” When Truffle’s parents recite the big dreams they had when they were Truffle’s age, he says, “But I have dreams, too.”

Rosalie’s two friends Lottie and Clara dream, but their dreams are of being rich and famous. Truffle’s two friends Spike and Carlo dream, too, of chocolate cake and girls. On the fateful day when Rosalie and Truffle meet under the apple tree, each experiences a moment of pure bliss. But of course the path of true love, never easy, has huge boulders blocking their way. By the time each has followed the advice of his or her friends, neither recognizes the other. How these two soul mates come together as one is the heart of the story.

Rosalie and Truffle, Truffle and Rosalie is a book about appearances and how important it is to be true to yourself. At first glance the small book feels and looks like a child’s picture book — and it is. However, the storytelling and the book’s execution are quite sophisticated. The simple charcoal drawings coupled with color illustrations entertain young and old. While children will relate to most of the story’s language, many lines have another layer of meaning for adults. “After all, around every corner await sweet new temptations, ripe and yours for the picking!” may not make much sense to a child but an adult will catch its drift.

Pick up the book and read Rosalie’s story; turn it over and read Truffle’s. Choose the book for a small child; flip open its pages and find a book worthy to be read any time to any one when love is in the air. If you’re looking for something small and charming, a gift perhaps, then Rosalie and Truffle, Truffle and Rosalie is worth considering, especially if you like to go "Ahhh," at the end.

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