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Storytime: ‘We Go Together’ tugs at your quirky heart strings

  •  This being the month for wearing our sentiments on our sleeves, I’m allowed to gush: Finding Calef Brown’s little book We Go Together is like finding your favorite flavor in a box of chocolates, like hearing a song on the radio that you just know is t

    This being the month for wearing our sentiments on our sleeves, I’m allowed to gush: Finding Calef Brown’s little book We Go Together is like finding your favorite flavor in a box of chocolates, like hearing a song on the radio that you just know is t

  •  This being the month for wearing our sentiments on our sleeves, I’m allowed to gush: Finding Calef Brown’s little book We Go Together is like finding your favorite flavor in a box of chocolates, like hearing a song on the radio that you just know is t

    This being the month for wearing our sentiments on our sleeves, I’m allowed to gush: Finding Calef Brown’s little book We Go Together is like finding your favorite flavor in a box of chocolates, like hearing a song on the radio that you just know is t

  •  This being the month for wearing our sentiments on our sleeves, I’m allowed to gush: Finding Calef Brown’s little book We Go Together is like finding your favorite flavor in a box of chocolates, like hearing a song on the radio that you just know is t

    This being the month for wearing our sentiments on our sleeves, I’m allowed to gush: Finding Calef Brown’s little book We Go Together is like finding your favorite flavor in a box of chocolates, like hearing a song on the radio that you just know is t

  •  This being the month for wearing our sentiments on our sleeves, I’m allowed to gush: Finding Calef Brown’s little book We Go Together is like finding your favorite flavor in a box of chocolates, like hearing a song on the radio that you just know is t

    This being the month for wearing our sentiments on our sleeves, I’m allowed to gush: Finding Calef Brown’s little book We Go Together is like finding your favorite flavor in a box of chocolates, like hearing a song on the radio that you just know is t

  •  This being the month for wearing our sentiments on our sleeves, I’m allowed to gush: Finding Calef Brown’s little book We Go Together is like finding your favorite flavor in a box of chocolates, like hearing a song on the radio that you just know is t

    This being the month for wearing our sentiments on our sleeves, I’m allowed to gush: Finding Calef Brown’s little book We Go Together is like finding your favorite flavor in a box of chocolates, like hearing a song on the radio that you just know is t

  •  This being the month for wearing our sentiments on our sleeves, I’m allowed to gush: Finding Calef Brown’s little book We Go Together is like finding your favorite flavor in a box of chocolates, like hearing a song on the radio that you just know is t
  •  This being the month for wearing our sentiments on our sleeves, I’m allowed to gush: Finding Calef Brown’s little book We Go Together is like finding your favorite flavor in a box of chocolates, like hearing a song on the radio that you just know is t
  •  This being the month for wearing our sentiments on our sleeves, I’m allowed to gush: Finding Calef Brown’s little book We Go Together is like finding your favorite flavor in a box of chocolates, like hearing a song on the radio that you just know is t
  •  This being the month for wearing our sentiments on our sleeves, I’m allowed to gush: Finding Calef Brown’s little book We Go Together is like finding your favorite flavor in a box of chocolates, like hearing a song on the radio that you just know is t
  •  This being the month for wearing our sentiments on our sleeves, I’m allowed to gush: Finding Calef Brown’s little book We Go Together is like finding your favorite flavor in a box of chocolates, like hearing a song on the radio that you just know is t

This being the month for wearing our sentiments on our sleeves, I’m allowed to gush: Finding Calef Brown’s little book We Go Together is like finding your favorite flavor in a box of chocolates, like hearing a song on the radio that you just know is talking to you, like meeting that person who just seems to get you.

It’s not even a gushy book. It’s a celebration of friendship more than love – or at least the fondness that undergirds lasting romance – and it certainly never makes any plays on the old heartstrings. But if you and your kids appreciate the quirky and zany, if the love between you is defined by nutty little inside jokes, you’ll feel all soft and mushy about this book nonetheless.

Unlike much of the drivel we encounter this month, Brown’s poems – packaged in a satisfyingly square-shaped book and accompanied by his own winsome, wacky illustrations – are utterly original.

Honestly, have you ever heard anything like this? “Before we met / I was such a timid roller skater. / Only on rugs, / or in an elevator. / But you, like a pal, / gave me pep talks / and newer skates. / Now I do figure eights / and navigate the sewer grates.”

Now, it doesn’t matter at all if you’ve ever laced up a pair of roller skates: What matters here, what very nearly brings a tear to this mother’s eye (I told you, I’m allowed some sappiness this month), is the beautiful, tender, lean-on-me feeling that propels it forward.

Same with the tiny little poem “Totally!” “We should totally / start a band together! / Let’s call it Thunderbug! / Or Sandalfeather! . . .”

Again, it makes little difference if you’ve ever had a chum with whom you wanted to start an actual band. The important thing is the hey-I’ve-got-an-idea synergy that exists between best friends, be they a 4-year-old and his golden retriever, a mischievous grandpa and his giggly granddaughter or a pair of scheming siblings.

Some of the poems have more universal themes. “Laughers” celebrates the familiar bond of humor in its own unique way, describing the sound of two laughing friends, “like two porpoises sharing a snorkel.” And “My Closer” puts a positive spin on the oft-irritating habit of completing another person’s sentences: “I think that it’s swell when you pick up my thread.”

Brown, who grew up in New England and until just recently lived in Maine (he’s currently teaching in Vancouver), has done illustrations for publications including Time, Newsweek, the New Yorker and the New York Times.

His 2006 book, Flamingoes on the Roof, was a New York Times bestseller and his other books have won numerous awards.

If his off-kilter doodles have earned him nationwide esteem, Brown’s wacky way with words is their perfect match. They go together like, well, molars and gums – to borrow a line from this sweet little book.

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