Be A Friend

beafriendcoverTitle: Be A Friend

Author/Illustrator: Salina Yoon
Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2016
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: 3-6
Themes: Friendship, Self-acceptance

Opening Lines:

DENNIS was an ordinary boy …
… who expressed himself in EXTRAORDINARY ways.

Synopsis (from Amazon’s website):

Dennis is an ordinary boy who expresses himself in extraordinary ways. Some children do show-and-tell. Dennis mimes his. Some children climb trees. Dennis is happy to BE a tree . . . But being a mime can be lonely. It isn’t until Dennis meets a girl named Joy that he discovers the power of friendship–and how special he truly is! At its core, this book is a heartwarming story of self-acceptance, courage, and unbreakable friendship for anyone who has ever felt “different.”


  • Downloadable activity sheets – BE A FRIEND Valentines, coloring, and spot the difference.
  • Lovely post by Ms. Yoon on how the story has parallels to her own childhood.

Why I Like This Book:

A tender and powerful story about the loneliness a child feels until he has someone who understands him. While this book is aimed at the children just starting to learn how to make friends in a school setting, I think this story is something any aged reader can relate to. The story is one that will fill the reader with courage to be yourself and re-assurance that there is a friend for everyone.

Ms. Yoon has a knack for creating stories that emotionally connect with children and are also simplistic and charming in their excution. The subdued color palette with red accents is eye-catching and plays well with the short text. One of my favorite parts of the story is the title “BE A FRIEND”, what a subtle and perfect way to get kids to remember to be ‘that friend’ to someone else. In a recent blog post, Mr. Sharp hoped that the kidlit world would mobilize behind this message similar to the “Choose Kind” movement. I certainly hope so.

This book has tons of heart. Check-out the trailer below and see for yourself.


This is a good book for pre-school thru KG classroom storytime or lap-reading at home.


Find Be A Friend at the following spots:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Goodreads
ISBN-10: 1619639513
ISBN-13: 978-1619639515

This review is part of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.

Disclosure: I received my copy of this book from the publisher. This review nevertheless reflects my own and honest opinion about the book.



12 Comments to “Be A Friend”

  1. I love Salina’s Be A Friend. And I second Julie’s recommendation. Salina has a beautiful way of conveying emotions in her picture books.

  2. What a sweet and unique book about loneliness and friendship. I love the cover! Will definitely check it out!

  3. Thank you for including that beautiful trailer for this special book. I can’t wait to enjoy this one and share it with my daughter.

  4. I saw Salina’s photos from her book launch, but haven’t seen the book itself yet! I read the Winner interview too. I need to find this book!

  5. I’m crying from just watching the trailer. The music, the illustrations, the text. Perfect. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Fabulous. I scheduled my review for this for next week but i did think someone might review it this week. I shall post it on Goodreads instead I think. It is adorable and unusual.

  7. Sounds like a special book for all those kiddies who ever felt lonely or needed a friend. Will check it out. 🙂 Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  8. I’ve wanted to read this! 😀

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