Sunday, August 25, 2019

Making Friends in Picture Books

A Visitor for BearA Visitor for Bear by Bonnie Becker
Curmudgeonly Bear wants to be left alone, as anyone who reads the large “NO visitors allowed” sign on his door might infer, but Mouse knocks anyway. Bear tries to get rid of him, but Mouse keeps popping up in unusual places around Bear’s house. After Bear has plugged the drains and boarded up the windows, Mouse peeps out of the teakettle — and Bear gives in. The two of them have tea by the fire and chat, and to his surprise, Bear enjoys Mouse’s company so much that he takes down his sign. Sweet without being saccharine, this charming book demonstrates that, sometimes, making friends requires persistence.

Yoko by Rosemary Wells
When Yoko the kitten opens her box of sushi at lunchtime, all of the other critters in her class make fun of her for eating food they think is yucky and weird. The teasing intensifies when Yoko reveals that she’s brought red-bean ice cream as a snack — but Yoko’s teacher, Mrs. Jenkins, has an inspired idea and announces that Monday will be International Food Day. Yoko brings sushi for the whole class that day, but no one tries it until Timothy (who’s still hungry) musters his courage, discovers that he loves sushi, and makes a new friend in the process.

Oswald by Dan Yaccarino
Moving to Big City is certainly an adventure for Oswald the Octopus. When he and his pet hot dog, Weenie, arrive at their new apartment,they realize they need some help moving Oswald’s treasured piano. It’s very heavy. But Oswald doesn’t know anyone in Big City. Who will help him? One by one, Oswald’s friendly neighbors offer to help. Soon Oswald and Weenie meet Henry the Penguin, Johnny Snowman, the Egg Twins, and many other charming characters. And before they know it they’ve made lots of new friends.