Best Test

Best Test
Co-Authors / Illustrators
  • Anna Doherty
Publisher Name
Tiny Owl Publishing
Age Range
Release Date
January 24, 2023
Bird and Frog find a strawberry on their way. Theres only one strawberry and the two of them. So, only the best animal gets to eat the fruit. Soon Rat, Shrew, Squirrel, and others join them in a competition to find the best and award them with the strawberry. The animals have fun playing together. But, as they reach the finish line, its time to see who gets the reward. The animals find there is a lesson for all of them about being best friends.Best Test is the second title after Fair Shares by the duo, Pippa Goodhart and Anna Doherty.

Editor review

1 review
picture book about friendship and competition
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
BEST TEST is a story about friendship, sharing, and competition. When the animals find a strawberry, they all agree that whoever is the best should get to be the one to have it - but how do they determine the best? They come up with an obstacle course/race, which includes things like making funny faces and guessing what is in a bag. As they begin the race, some animals are having trouble with certain tasks, and they begin to help each other out, crossing the finish line at the same time and deciding to share the strawberry. However, they find that snail is eating it already, having taken the shortest path from start to finish of their race and declaring themselves the winner. Snail tells them that they found the best of friends in the race.

What I loved: The illustrations here were very cute with plenty of adorable forest animals. The images capture them well as well as their tasks along the way. There are some good lessons around helping others and kindness being more important than winning, and friendship being more valuable than claiming a prize.

What left me wanting more: As a small thing, the text could be confusing to find and read in places, as it was strategically placed on illustrations, so it was not always easy to locate or to read in order. The bigger issue/confusion was with the reason that snail won and gets the whole strawberry, which will be confusing to young readers and to caregivers who will be asked to explain. The lesson becomes a bit murky there, and I think it may have been better to show all the animals sharing after winning together. The story also felt a bit disjointed as the sentences and actions are not fully linked across pages.

Final verdict: Overall, BEST TEST is a picture book about friendship and competition that has some interesting thoughts around prioritizing helping others/kindness over winning. This will work well for preschool and elementary school aged readers.
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