Friendship

The Den
by Adam Stower
(Bloomsbury)
Having to make new friends following a house (or school) move is something many young children have to face. Here is a story that explores the theme through the eyes of newcomer Rabbit who devises a clever plan when he finds it more than a little hard to be accepted by grumpy Pig in his new neighbourhood.
(reviewed by Jill Bennett)
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Lost and Found
by Oliver Jeffers
(Harper Collins)
With its deceptively style in both writing and watercolour illustration, this is one of those books with a real ‘aah’ factor that manages to be both quirky and poignant thus avoiding sickly sentimentality. It features a small boy, and a lost penguin who turns up at his front door. Together the pair journey to The South Pole, Penguin’s erstwhile home, but as he sets sail again, the boy realises that perhaps the penguin is looking for friendship more than his home.
The way the story moves almost imperceptively between fantasy and reality is akin to the way young children slip seamlessly from the real world into that of their imaginations. That power and education of the imagination is something we need to do all we can to foster as they get older. Jeffers is a real treasure.
(reviewed by Jill Bennett)
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The Owl, the Aat, and the Roar
by Tanya Linch
(Bloomsbury)
Every day when Ben goes to nursery he takes his two favourite toys with him. The pair are good friends and everyone is happy until one day Ben decides to take Roar along too. Roar is totally unlike Aat and Owl, he’s noisy, angry and unfriendly – altogether a real rebel with a large ego. But then at hometime Roar is accidentally left behind and before long he begins to understand the importance of getting along with others and to appreciate the value of friendship.
The delightfully lumpy characters, even the Roar, are thoroughly endearing.
(reviewed by Jill Bennett)
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Friends
by Kathryn Cave, illustrated by Nick Maland
(Hodder)
Friends comfort you, guide you, wait for you, walk beside you and stand by you through thick and thin: in short, they care for you. So discover a big one and a small one in this tender evocation of one of life’s most vital relationships told through the eyes of the smaller of two creatures. Gently humorous pen and water colour illustrations portraying the duo as they share life’s ups and downs, extend the text and open up numerous opportunities for children’s personal storying.
(reviewed by Jill Bennett)
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What Friends Do Best
by Jonathan Emmett, illustrated by Nathan Reed
(Collins)
That it’s fine to let friends help is something that doesn’t come easily to everyone but it’s the lesson that ace designer and maker of vehicles, cat Winston finally has to learn when he embarks on his most ambitious building project ever. At first he is determined to work solo but eventually he is forced to confront the truth – some jobs are just too big for one. Luckily, his friends are ready and willing to assist; after all, helping is what friends do best. What it is that Winston is trying to build is kept as a surprise until the final pages though there are clues to be found in the illustrations as the story unfolds. It’s great fun to go back and search for them
once the book has been read. A jolly tale of friendship and co-operation with an important message that is all too often overlooked in today’s competitive world.
(reviewed by Jill Bennett)
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