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My Best Friend, Sometimes

Kirkus starred review

An emotionally honest take on the complexities of (childhood) friendship.

The first-person narrator (who has light-brown skin and voluminous wavy, brown hair) remains unnamed throughout the text but immediately names best friend Stephanie, a white girl, and the circumstances of their meeting. " 'If you give me a cookie,' she said to me, 'I'll be your best friend,' " recounts the narrator. Accompanying art shows the children from behind; they are seated at a cafeteria table and separated by the gutter. Subsequent pages use layout to place them close together, sometimes in small, sequential illustrations depicting their varied activities and the sometimes-fraught dynamic that emerges from that initial, manipulative encounter. And then they are separated on facing pages again when the narrator confesses, "Stephanie and I like each other. And we don't like each other. Both." Words and pictures then examine the misunderstandings, unkindnesses, and tensions that can sometimes punctuate friendships, the exemplary use of layout and expressive illustration techniques continuing to support the poignantly real voice of the text. A reconciliation at the book's end provides satisfaction without papering over the reality that this isn't the last time these kids will need to mend fences.

A best best-friend book. (Picture book. 6-9)
 
Pub Date: May 26, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-57687-946-7
Page Count: 32

Publisher: POW!
Review Posted Online: today

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020
Categories: CHILDREN'S SOCIAL THEMES

 

 

On Canadian Radio

Toronto journalist Michele Landsberg said this about MY BEST FRIEND, SOMETIMES:

"It's a very realistic and detailed relationship story....It's a lot about negotiating friendship and it's done with lovely understatement and a lot of joyful humor. It's a particular favorite of mine this season." At about 3 minutes into this recording.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Chidren's Book Panel Summer 2020

cinta_arribas.png

Illustrator Cinta Arribas is interviewed on illustrating this book by

Mel Schuit on her blog Let's Talk Picture Books

and by

Elizabeth Dulemba on her blog Living Outside the Lines

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