Ways to Make Friends

Greystone. Aug. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781771649759.
PreS-Gr 2–A young frog offers earnest advice to anyone looking to make a friend. There’s good advice (“Say hi to the shy kid who never says hi to anyone”); silly advice (“You can dress up like an apple or a pear and give away a pear or an apple”); and advice that is questionable at best (“When you are at your aunt’s house, you can free a bird”). And if none of it works, the narrator suggests becoming your own best friend by learning a few ways to entertain yourself. By the end of the book, the narrator has indeed made a couple of friends, and the end papers show all the young creatures interacting happily. Comical illustrations just this side of surreal done with colored pens and digital colors show a skewed world with a diverse cast of animal (and insect and plant) characters learning to navigate new relationships. This is certain to spark lively debate at story hours.
VERDICT Best when shared with youngsters along with a conversation about good and not-so-good ways to pursue friendship.

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