Today I Read…You Will Be My Friend!

You Will By My FriendToday I read You Will Be My Friend! written and illustrated by Peter Brown. This book won the Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature Honor Book (2012). Peter Brown website can be found here.

Lucy has decided that she will make a new friend today, but she’s having trouble finding one. It’s very frustrating. WHY WON’T ANYONE BE HER FRIEND?!

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This is a nice story about perseverance and dealing with frustration and how to make friends. Lucy starts off with a good idea–she decides to make a new friend, and thinks of all of the fun things that they can do together. Unfortunately, it’s harder than it sounds to make a friend who likes the same sorts of things that Lucy likes, and sometimes they like things that Lucy doesn’t like. When she gets frustrated at how hard it is to make a friend, she ends up being bossy and ordering creatures around and being a bit of a bully. It’s not until she calms down that someone comes up to her and asks to be her friend, and they play all their favourite games together.

The pictures are big and bright and make it easy to follow the action of the story. The words alternate between narrative and dialogue, so the older reader can point out to their audience when Lucy is speaking, and sometimes just read the story. This also lends itself to reading the story aloud, since the reader can make Lucy’s voice distinct from the narrative. The theme of making friends is something that everyone can relate to, and the difficulty of the narrative and the vocabulary are suitable for preschool-aged children, which is the age when children start to socialize more with their peers.

Peter Brown includes some advice for making friends on the back flap of the book:

Lesson 1. Always be yourself.

Lesson 2. New friends appear when you least expect it.

Lesson 3. Do not scream “YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND!” at people. Trust me, that never works.

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