The story is told in rhyming couplets that provide information about each symbiotic relationship, with an additional layer of text that provides more details about the particular animal behavior involved.
Just you and me.
Just me and you.
We’re perfect pairs!
Here’s what we do….
Some animals and plants form lifelong partnerships with other animals and plants, a relationship known as symbiosis. Then they cooperate and help each other in the most unlikely ways.
I hold you gently in each claw
and show you off—then you may gnaw
on treats I eat as I explore
the perils of the ocean floor.
The boxer crab carries a stinging anemone in each claw to scare away predators; the anemones then benefit by eating bits of food left over by the crab as it dines.
I love the perspective the illustrator chose for this spread. It shows just how small this crab is in comparison to the fish that’s considering it for dinner. And it’s interesting and funny to see the crab waving anemones like pompoms to ward off predators.
The narrative provides eleven examples from around the world, including the Nile crocodile/Egyptian plover, the boxer crab/anemone, zebra/ostrich, algae/sloth, woodpecker/saguaro, oxpecker/rhino, acacia tree/ants, pistol shrimp/goby fish, egret/large mammals, cleaner wrasses/fish and sea turtles, and something a child will be familiar with, bees/flowers.
At the end, the book circles back to the two children in the garden, with a wrap-up that expands the perspective to our planet. Because humans have a symbiotic relationship with Earth.
Pair this book with two humorous books: Randall and Randall by Nadine Poper (goby fish and pistol shrimp) and Friends Stick Together by Hannah Harrison (rhino and tickbird).
Learn how to draw a clown fish hiding in an anemone in this Art Lady video.
Learn more by watching this short cartoon Youtube video about the three types of symbiosis. Once you’ve watched the video, try to categorize the symbiotic relationships in the book.
Go underwater in this Untamed Science video about the three types of symbiosis. Its examples include cleaner wrasses, clown fish and anemones, and others.
Title: Just You and Me: Remarkable Relationships in the Wild
Author: Jennifer Ward
Illustrator: Alexander Vidal
Publisher: Beach Lane Books, 2021
Themes: symbiosis, animals, plants, planet stewardship
Ages: Elementary school
For more perfect picture book recommendations, please visit Susanna Hill’s website.
16 thoughts on “Just You and Me – Perfect Picture Book Friday”
Just sent this review to my friend who is a science teacher!!!! What a fantastic book! Love all the layers to this book and your incredible resources and related text suggestions!!!! Thank you so much!!! I am ordering this as a mentor text for myself!!!
Yay! Thank you! I hope your friend finds it useful!
As usual, you picked another book that I’m gonna just HAVE to read in its entirety. Stop it; I have too many other things to do! Do you know how far behind I am on everything?
On a related note, I find myself singing the rhyming portions of this book to the tune of “Happy Together” by the Turtles. So, again, stop! My day is too busy for this!
Sounds like this would be an entertaining read aloud for you and yours. I suggest you corner your son and read this to him…even if he’s grown taller than you, now. But perhaps that would make you even behinder….best get your behind in gear (as your mother might say).
I have a MS about these symbiotic relationships. It is a great picture book subject and this author and illustrator look like they have done a grand job.
Yes, indeed! Have you sent your MS out?
I really like this book and the double layer of text (and illustration) that allows it reach multiple ages. Jennifer and Alexander did a great job with it.
They did! I was thinking about how it’s a great book for “buddy reading” time where older kids are paired to read to younger ones.
Great for my great nephew who lives in Florida. He loves bugs and salamanders. Think he’d like this one too. Great illustrations!
Perfect! So PPBF influences your gift shopping, too, yay!
This looks SO fun! Can’t wait to read it… Iove Jennifer’s books. Plus we all need a friend, right?
Indeed! Let’s hear it for mutualism!
This has so much interesting information and it rhymes! The art i
to finish … The art is incredible!
Yes, the changing perspectives and color palette really make the illustrations pop!
I’m a fan of fun and fascinating nonfiction that keeps kids engaged. This one is just that!