Title: Be A Friend
Author/Illustrator: Salina Yoon
Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2016
Book Type: Fiction
Themes: Friendship, Self-acceptance
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.
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.