The Un-Friendship Bracelet

illus. by Xindi Yan. 128p. Little Simon. Mar. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781534409088; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9781534409071.
Gr 1–3—A charming first installment of a new series that focuses on crafting. The book begins by introducing "Mad-ily," the dynamic duo of crafty best friends Maddie and Emily. They share everything and their relationship is sealed by their special friendship bracelets. Their world is turned upside down by the arrival of a new student named Bella. Maddie and Bella quickly become friends, and Emily feels left out. To make matters worse, she loses her friendship bracelet and wonders if it is a sign that Mad-ily won't survive the school year. Through honest communication, creative problem-solving, and a positive attitude, Maddie and Emily mend their friendship. This is an enjoyable and wholesome book that promotes important values and skills for young children. Maddie, Emily, and Bella learn to share, consider others' feelings, and be inclusive. The text is printed in a large font, which makes it an ideal choice for early or reluctant readers. Black-and-white illustrations on every page add to the book's readability. The story also integrates various STEAM elements: crafting, coding, painting, and tinkering, making it a solid tie-in for library programming.
VERDICT A must-have new series where crafters, makers, and after-school arts programs are popular.

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