Growing Friendships: A Kids' Guide To Making and Keeping Friends

Kennedy-Moore, Eileen & . 192p. further reading. glossary. illus. Aladdin/Beyond Words. Jul. 2017. Tr $23.99. ISBN 9781582705897; pap. ISBN 9781582705880.
Gr 2–6—This guide to friendships is simply illustrated and full of useful information. Written by a child psychologist and a professional parenting writer, this book goes over basic information explaining how body language and verbal signals can help signal the progression of a friendship. It provides basic coping skills for anxiety so that readers can attract more friends. There is also a section on bullying and learning to say no. The information is a lot to digest for a younger crowd, while the conflicts presented are too young for a middle grade audience. Recurring dog and cat mascots are supposed to provide a bit of levity but just end up being diverting. The section on blending in may put off more independent and individualistic types, and the section on anxiety isn't always clear about the feelings it's trying to help children cope with. Overall, though, the information is accurate and helpful.
VERDICT A decent guide for younger middle grade collections, even adults could learn something from this book.

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