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The Children's Bookshelf: Friends - October9, 2022

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Friends written and illustrated by Daniela Sosa is a timely picture book as children are now back in school and having a friend or two is important. As the cover suggests friends come in all colors and have all sorts of interests.

The author states early in this picture book, “You will meet many friends, and each friendship will be different.” The accompanying double spread illustration hosts eleven possible friends on their way to school: one on a scooter, another in a wheelchair, two others walking alone (one child is enjoying the weather and the other is not so happy) and almost all children wearing their trusty backpacks. The opportunities for making friends are immense as the fun-filled illustrations indicate throughout.

Some friendships are built on common delights such as ice skating, drawing, and climbing trees while other friendships develop when someone needs an encouraging word backstage just before the curtain goes up on the school play.

One of the most delightful illustrations shows a little boy swinging in the park and talking with a huge white bear creature in the next swing ----an imaginary friend for sure!

Friends written and illustrated by Daniela Sosa will delight children 4-8 years of age. The message is clear and the illustrations, done in ink with charcoal pencils and pulled together digitally, are full of color, fun, good ideas and friends. (A Paula Wisemen Book/Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers).

The Children’s Bookshelf is a production of WCMU. Links to the podcast and the Activity Questions can be found at Children’s Bookshelf dot org.

Activity Questions for FRIENDS

One little boy in this book is swinging with an imaginary friend. As the author says: “Some friends can only be seen by you.” What do you think these two friends are talking about? Have you ever had an imaginary friend? If so, what was this imaginary friend’s name? What did you talk about? Does your imaginary friend still come around? Draw a picture of your imaginary friend. Have Fun!

Sometimes friends have arguments and sometimes these arguments are over very silly disagreements. Have you ever had a friend with whom you had a disagreement? What was it about? How did you and your friend solve the disagreement?

Do you have a friend who lives far away? Write your friend a letter so that you both can keep in contact. Tell your friend what is going on in your life and ask them how they are. You can decorate your letter and envelope before you mail it. Parents and grandparents can help you with this project.

Sue Ann Martin is professor emerita of Communication and Dramatic Arts and the founding and past Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. She first became interested in children’s literature when she wrote her PhD thesis on the oral characteristics of the Caldecott Award-winning children’s books. Her PhD is in Speech and Interpretation with a cognate in Early Childhood Education. She went on to review children’s books for the Detroit Free Press, write three popular resource books for teachers regarding children’s books and the creative process. She also reviewed newly-published books for Arts Almanac specials on WCMU Public Radio. Her 2002 children’s books special for WCMU won a Merit Award in Special Interest Programming from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.