My Best Friend (Julie Fogliano & Jillian Tamaki)

Hello, friends! After a week of adjusting to our new homeschooling schedule, we’re back with a new review: My Best Friend by Julie Fogliano and Jillian Tamaki, a lovely ode to childhood friendship.

“I have a new friend,” begins a preschool girl with curly red hair, as she laughs on the tire swing with another little girl in glasses. Spare, childlike text recounts the day they spend together, descriptions of her friend, and reasons she knows they are best friends: “she LOVES strawberry ice cream/and i HATE strawberry ice cream/and we are still friends even then”. They are best friends; the little girl is sure, even though she’s never had a best friend before. They’ll meet again tomorrow to laugh and play some more – perhaps even learn each other’s names – because that’s what best friends do.

Charming. This sweet, slice-of-life tale captures the guileless innocence of early best friendships, which can be built in the span of a day on something as simple as a shared sense of play. The text, all in lowercase except for occasional emphasis, is playful, earnest, and soothing to read aloud. The girls’ adventures, ranging from sidewalk chalk drawings to hide-and-seek to a heartwarming scene of one comforting the other’s sadness over crushed flowers, are snapshots of young childhood that little readers will connect to and older readers will feel nostalgic for. The soft, scribbly art captures expression, imagination, and tone exquisitely. The length is perfect, and JJ and I both enjoyed it. This is a great one, especially for little ones just learning to make friends; it shows how quickly friendships can form, and how wonderful they can be. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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