Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Dynamic Duos

Dynamic duos abound in books for beginning readers. Here are my favs, in no particular order.  For more lists of literary dynamic duos, head on over to the Broke and the Bookish.

1. Frog and Toad (Arnold Lobel). What more is there to say? These two friends, opposites in so many ways, are the Oscar and Felix of beginning readers. Are you a Frog or are you a Toad?

2. George and Martha (James Marshall). Two lovable hippos who get into many a scrape together.

3. The Golly Sisters (Betsy Byars). Two sisters who travel in a covered wagon putting on shows, and who like all sisters, squabble at times, only to make up in the end.

4. Hare and Rabbit: Friends Forever (Julia Noonan). This delightful early reader is out of print, which is a shame. Hare and Rabbit are best friends in the Frog and Toad tradition, only they're female and not amphibians.

5. Elephant and Piggie (Mo Willems). Like many great fictional duos, Elephant and Piggie are polar opposites. Elephant is a solid, plodding sort, while Piggie is more fun-loving. Together, though, the two animal friends compliment each other perfectly.

6. Bink & Gollie (Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee). Bink is a mop-headed imp with a love for outrageous socks and a stubborn nature. Gollie, her taller and more sartorial friend, is equally headstrong. How the two best friends learn to compromise is the theme of this beginning reader. Hopefully, many more will follow.

7. Ivy & Bean (Sophie Blackall). At first glance, Ivy and Bean seem to have nothing in common. To Bean, a girl who is always on the move and often in trouble, Ivy appears to be bookish and dull beyond belief. But underneath her quiet exterior lurks an imagination equal to Bean's, and when the two join forces--watch out!

8. Clementine and Margaret (Sara Pennypacker). Clementine, a third-grader who seems never to be paying attention but always is, and Margaret, her upstairs fourth-grade neighbor, are unlikely allies. Margaret is everything Clementine is not: neat, organized, and a bit bossy.  Clementine, however, more than stands up for herself, and as the series progresses the two find out how much the other one truly cares.

9. Hansel and Gretel (The Brothers Grimm). Okay, not a beginning reader, but what a great pair these two make. Brother and sister, they unite to survive in the forest and to defeat the witch. Not bad for a couple of kids. Anthony Browne's illustrated version of the dark tale is a particular favorite.

10. Harold and the Purple Crayon (Crockett Johnson). Another book that's not a beginning reader and this one has an inanimate object as one of the duo! But, come on, isn't one's imagination always the perfect companion?

So there's my list. Who are your favorite dynamic duos?


  1. I love your list. We have so many of the same ones! I ended up focusing on easy readers specifically, since I've been reading so many, but Clementine and Margaret is a great one. And Harold and the Purple Crayon is another perfect duo! Love it!

  2. Frog and Toad were an amazing pair! I'm probably a toad...

  3. It's great to showcase so many duos in books for younger kids! Love the title and concept of your blog! This is my first time by!

  4. I love your addition of Harold and his beloved purpose crayon. I remember reading that book as a kid. Great memories.

  5. And by "purpose" I of course meant "purple." Sigh. Been a long day, obviously! :p