Who’s Your Friend?

A book can be a friend, and a book can be about friends. Below are four books where friendship is discovered in different ways.

Nerdy Birdy written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Matt Davies, Roaring Brook Press

Nerdy Birdy is different than most birds. He doesn’t fit in with the cool birds. When a group of nerdy birds invites Nerdy Birdy to join them, he thinks he has found his group of friends. Then Vulture arrives. The cool birds and the nerdy birds want nothing to do with someone as weird as Vulture. Nerdy Birdy knows what’s it’s like to feel all alone, and he and Vulture discover that you don’t have to be exactly the same to be friends. Davies’ clever illustrations, depicting the various birds are delightfully entertaining.

Swap! written and illustrated by Steve Light, Candlewick Press

The text in Swap is sparse, but it’s enhanced by Light’s pen and ink illustrations with bright blues and yellows for contrast. In this story, something small becomes something big. A young pirate suggests that his older pirate friend, who is down on his luck, make a swap. It starts with a small button from the old friend’s shirt. Each time they swap for bigger and better things until the old friend’s ship is renovated, and the two friends sail off together.

We Forgot Brock! written and illustrated by Carter Goodrich, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Brock is Phillip’s imaginary friend. They do everything together until Brock gets left behind at the fair. Luckily, Brock is being taken care of by Anne and her imaginary friend, Princess Sparkle Dust. Phillip misses Brock and goes to search for him. When Phillip finds him, Brock introduces him to Anne and Princess Sparkle Dust and the four of them become fast friends. Goodrich’s illustrations of Brock and Anne are larger than life, but the friendship between Phillip and Anne is the perfect size.

Leo A Ghost Story written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Christian Robinson, Chronicle Books

Leo is a ghost who has lived in the same house for a long time. When a new family moves in, they’re scared and try to get rid of him. Leo moves out and roams around, looking for a new friend. He meets Jane who thinks he’s imaginary. Poor Leo wants a friend so badly he doesn’t tell her he’s a ghost until he has to use his ghostly powers to catch a robber. No worries. Jane thinks having a ghost as a friend is much better than imaginary friends. Christian Robinson’s illustrations are done in gray, black, blue, and white, giving the story a suitable ghostly setting.

Friends come unexpectedly. Sometimes you’re looking for one and sometimes you’re not. Whatever the case may be, a friend is someone to cherish.

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