Friday, July 6, 2018

The Great Big Book of Friends

The Great Big Book of Friends. Mary Hoffman. Illustrated by Ros Asquith. 2018. 40 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: What is a friend? What do you think a friend is?

Premise/plot: The Great Big Book of Friends is a concept picture book about friendship and relationships. It's written in a conversational style. There are a lot of questions asked, a variety of answers given. It is not a traditional story book. Each two-page spread presents a topic or subject.
  • What is a friend?
  • Making friends
  • Best friends
  • A group of friends
  • Family or friends?
  • Sharing
  • Being different
  • A friend you haven't met
  • Imaginary friends
  • Animal friends
  • Friendly things
  • When friends fight
  • Losing friends
  • Who is NOT your friend?
  • How many friends?
  • Friends forever
I like the range of topics. I do. And the questions may be geared towards children primarily--as this is a children's books--but it provides food for thought for readers of all ages. Here are some of the questions asked:
  • What do you think a friend is?
  • Do you remember how you made all your friends?
  • Do you have one person who is your best friend?
  • Have you met all your friends? 
 My thoughts: I liked this one. I did. I loved the page on friendly things. Friendly things include: books, stuffed animals, blankets, toys, etc. (The illustrations show a cat sitting in a laundry basket. His thought bubble reads: 'A cat's best friend is a laundry basket.' Earlier in the book, the cat is shown asking the question: 'Can food be a friend?'). But I also really loved the page on friends you haven't met.
Have you met all your friends? It might sound like a strange question, but it is possible to be friends with someone you have never met. You may have a pen pal who lives in another country and you can stay in touch by writing emails and letters.
(The cat on that page says: 'Cats purr the same in every language.')

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 7 out of 10

© 2018 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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