How to Have Friends

Albert Whitman. Apr. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780807533611.
PreS-Gr 2–Sure, “Everything is better with friends,” but sometimes it’s hard to know how to be a good friend. This engaging picture book offers numerous tidbits of advice about how to be a respectful, compassionate, and generous friend. Each suggestion is couched within a distinct scenario, and the specificity of these contribute to the book’s charm. Being supportive means helping a friend search for a missing backpack; patience is listening to a friend “tell a long, LONG story;” empathy is refraining from telling your friend you got a gold star when they forgot their homework. The effectiveness of each situation is in its relatability to kids’ lives. Most kids can probably imagine at least some of these events happening to them, and that accessibility increases the odds of empathetic responses. The language is appropriate to the way kids would describe these situations: “If a friend beats you at tic-tac-toe, you might feel like making a mean face at her. But if you want to keep your friend, just say, ‘Good game.’” Digital illustrations filled with emotive faces and a soft color palette portray a diverse group of children with a wide variety of skin, hair, and eye colors; one girl using a wheelchair.
VERDICT This winsome picture book offers a wealth of lessons and could be effectively used in discussions about kindness and community.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing