When it comes to making friends, timing is everything. And when two people really click, magic can occur! The books below celebrate perfect pairings—companions who find each other at just the right moment.
TAKING FLIGHT WITH A FRIEND
A homebody learns what it’s like to step outside his comfort zone in Gus Gordon’s whimsical Somewhere Else (ages 4 to 8). George, a white duck who wears a tweed cap, is a rare bird, indeed. Content to stay in the kitchen and whip up pastries, he has no desire to explore the outside world. George’s mates stop inviting him on outings, except for his faithful bear friend, Pascal. When Pascal discovers why George sticks close to home (it’s a secret!), he’s determined to remedy the situation, and the two set off on an incredible journey in the sky. There’s a lot to look at in this appealing little book, thanks to Gordon’s ingenious, collage-like illustrations, which blend drawings, photographs and old newspaper clippings. This fanciful portrait of the power of companionship is sure to draw in young readers.
A CHANGE OF HEART
Tommy Greenwald’s Hooked (ages 4 to 6) is a warmhearted tale about fishing and family. A natural-born angler, young Joe has the focus and patience required to wait for a great catch. Not so his father, who finds the sport dull. “I like more action,” he says. “And I don’t like worms.” In search of company for his fishing excursions, Joe becomes a part of his local fishing club. When the group plans an ice fishing trip—an outing that requires parental accompaniment—Joe’s father reluctantly agrees to come along. The excursion doesn’t go quite as expected (Joe hooks a stuffed elephant!), but the two bond during their time on the ice. And when spring rolls around, Joe’s father is ready to cast a line. Illustrated with precision and delicacy by David McPhail, Hooked captures the special rapport that exists between father and son.
FRIENDSHIP IN THE FORECAST
The Pink Umbrella (ages 6 to 9) by Amélie Callot shows how small gestures of kindness can make a big difference in someone’s life. Adele is the proprietress of the Polka-Dot Apron, a cheery café that she decorates with fresh flowers. The café is popular with customers thanks to Adele’s buoyant personality. Indeed, the only thing that can dampen her spirit is rain! When the weather is gloomy, Adele stays in bed and keeps the café closed. One day at work, she discovers a surprise: bright pink rain boots that fit her perfectly. The boots are the first of many rain-related gifts (a pink raincoat comes next) that she receives from an unknown well-wisher—gifts that give her a new appreciation for gray skies and lead to a wonderful friendship. Geneviève Godbout’s colorful, spirited illustrations add to the enchantment of Adele’s adventures. Readers of all ages will appreciate this ray-of-sunshine story.