WE ARE (NOT) FRIENDS
Series: You Are Not Small, Book 4
Written by Anna King
Illustrated by Christopher Weyant
Two Lions 5/1/2019
40 Pages Ages 3—7
Genre: Children’s Picture Book, Fiction
Themes: Friendship, Getting Along
Two fuzzy friends are having a fun playdate when a new pal hops in. As the day continues, each friend feels left out at times. It isn’t so easy to figure out how to act when everything seems to change. With humor and heart, the beloved characters from Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner You Are (Not) Small navigate a friendship triangle as only they can. (from publisher)
“Can I play with you?” (asks the new blue bear. The brown bear smiles /the small bear frowns)
Why I like this book
The bears from the I Am (Not) Small series return. These two friends consist of a large brown bear wearing a black bowler and a small purplish bear wearing a safari hat. They are about to start a new activity when, from the right side of the spread, comes a medium blue bear, also wearing a black bowler. He asks, “Can I play with you?”
Can I play with you? The large bear says, “Yes!” The smaller bear replies, “Well . . .” This could be trouble. While the small bear stands off to the side, the other two bears tap dance. The small bear finally decides to join in, dancing a spectacular finish. All three jubilantly toss their hats in the air and pose. But, as the small bear tries to get into his pose, his hat plops down atop him, messing up his big finish. No longer a happy bear, he drags in a fan, which causes the new bear’s hat to fly away. The new bear runs off spread, chasing his hat.
Now that the new bear is gone, the small bear is once again happy, “Let’s play dinosaur hunters.” But the large bear is worried, “Where’s our friend?” The small bear demands, “We are friends. We are not friends with—” Just then the new bear calls out, “I’m back!”
Once again, the sparse text wastes not a word. The illustrations are against a lot of white space, making them pop off the page. Young children will love these ladder bears. The new bear is not only of a size between the original bears, he also cuts between the bears’ playtime. Young children have this happen, especially when first starting school. We Are (Not) Friends gives every child time to think about how they will respond when this happens to them (regardless which bear the child might become).
The two original bears have compared sizes, discussed ownership, and were scared . . . or not. Now they must define their friendship. I have loved this series since the first book; I Am (Not) Small came out in August of 2014 (reviewed here). Nearly six years later and I am still in love with these cute bears. They have the unique ability of helping children by example. The I Am Small Series continues growing into a well-developed children’s series. Next, the two bears tackle perfectionism
Illustrations: Rendered in ink and watercolors, with brush pens on Arches paper
Available at Amazon
It Is (Not) Perfect, Book #5 (May 12, 2020)
WE ARE (NOT) FRIENDS. Text Copyright © 2019 by Anna King. Illustrations copyright © 2019 by Christopher Weyant. Published by PUB, New York, NY.
Copyright © 2019 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved