It’s back to school time! So today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday pick is FRIENDS (Mostly). As new students start school and old students return to new classrooms, children will make new friends, some will lose old friends all will hopefully learn what friendship means and how to keep them intact.
Themes/Topics: Friendship, Jealousy, Kindness and Caring
Brief Synopsis: This book is about how two best friends make up when one allows jealousy to tear them apart.
Ruby and Henry,
Henry and Ruby,
Usually we’re friends, but sometimes we’re unfriends.
It all depends.
Why I like this book: The title tells all, you can be friends (mostly) and you can be unfriends too. Friendships often hit rough patches and kids need to find a way to work through those times. When Ruby is teased because she can’t float like her best friend Henry, she lashes out at him. And then she decides to walk away from their friendship. In the end, the two friends work out how to remain friends. A wonderful lesson for showing children what friendship looks like and how friendships work. And even when bad feelings come between friends, sometimes only one act of kindness can save a relationship.
Title: Suki’s KimonoWritten by: Chieri UegakiIllustrated by: Stéphanie JorischKids Can Press, 2003, FictionSuitable for ages: 3-8Themes/Topics: celebrating individuality, determination, cultural awareness, tolerance, acceptanceBrief Synopsis:Suki’s decided to wear her kimono, a gift from her grandmother, on the first day of school. Although her sisters did not want her to, Suki wears it anyway. On her way to school the kids laughed at her, but Suki’s kimono helps her relive those happy summer memories of her Japanese grandmother’s visit and all the things they did together. Her classmates also laugh and tease her but when it’s her turn to share what she did over summer break, Suki’s enthusiasm and joy is mesmerizing.
Opening pages: “On the first day of school, suki wanted to wear her kimono. Her sisters did not approve. “You can’t wear that,” said Mari. “People will think you’re weird.”“You can’t wear that,” said Yumi. “Everyone will laugh, and no one will play with you,’’ said Yumi.‘’You need something new, Suki.” You need something cool.’’Why I like this book: Suki demonstrates her individuality by choosing to wear a kimomo to school even when her sisters disapprove and warn her it may be an unpopular choice. The dialog between Suki and a girl on the playground who asks her about her “funny’’ clothing and Suki ‘s explanation shows that it’s okay to question as long as you are open to understanding another’s opinion. Suki is delighted to both show and tell her classmates about the summer spent with her Japanese grandmother. Suki’s teacher and the classmates realize wearing the kimono helps her recreate those happy summer memories. And from Suki we learn that despite being laughed at or teased for doing something different, sometimes it just doesn’t matter.