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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

We Are (Not) Friends, written by Anna Kang and illustrated by Christopher Weyant. two lions, Thomas Allen & Son. 2019. $23.99 ages 3 and up

"Um ...
it's a two - seater. 

Then where do I sit?

You can be the dinosaur!

T. rex!


In their fourth book starring a large brown bear a small purple bear, this wife-husband duo of look at what can happen when a third character is added to the friendship mix. I know this scenario to be very true to childhood and even into adolescence. There were three girls (all the same age) in my neighborhood; it wasn't often that the three of us could get along together, although we were quite good friends. It was always a contest, and it caused some angst-filled times for all.  Someone was always left out!

Friendship can be tough. Before their story begins, we see the two sharing some of the treasures in a nearby 'tickle trunk'.  We also notice a blue rabbit watching them with interest. All the rabbit wants to do is play. Brown is keen. Purple not so. Blue is delighted to be accepted.  As Brown and Blue make plans to perform a duet, they don't notice their dejected pal.

Purple's skills are not so well developed. Off he goes, in a huff. His return with a fan blows Blue's  hat away. Off he goes, leaving Purple happy to suggest a different activity. Brown worries about their new friend, while Purple begs to differ. They are NOT friends!

Back and forth it goes. One is always left out. Anger leads to tears. A compromise is found ... until the story ends in a surprise.

Funny, true to life, energetic, and a lesson in empathy. This is a book that little ones will very much enjoy reading together. But, don't count on it settling the many ups and downs of friendship navigation. Human nature is a strong force!


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