Hello, friends! Our book today is We Are (Not) Friends, written by Anna Kang and illustrated by Christopher Weyant, a sweet look at growing friendships.
The two bears (Big Brown and Small Purple) from the previous Kang/Weyant books are back, getting dressed up for playtime, when a blue bunny pops in and asks if he can join. Big Brown welcomes the newcomer, but Purple is less sure, especially when Brown and the bunny break off into intricate dance routine that Purple doesn’t know. The tables are turned then when Purple and Bunny build a pretend Jeep that Big Brown doesn’t fit into. Big Brown loses his cool and everyone takes a break to calm down. Brown and Purple have a heart to heart, establishing that it’s okay for them both to have NEW friends, because they will always be BEST friends. Feeling a bit more secure, they invite Bunny back, and the three friends enjoy their playtime as spies… with another newcomer asking if they can join in.
This is an important lesson in friendships – that they need not be exclusive to be special – told in a gentle yet fun way. The dialogue-only text is kept simple and to the point, but works beautifully with the expressive character illustrations to convey the message and tone of each scene. The length is great, and JJ enjoyed the antics of the bears (especially the opportunity to let out a loud ROAR near the end). This is a classic story of friendship, and we liked it a lot. Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the author in exchange for an honest review.)