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May I Bring a Friend? Paperback – September 30, 1989


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin; Reprint edition (September 30, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689713533
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689713538
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The King and Queen are most gracious hosts to a certain little boy--and any friend of his is a friend of theirs. When he brings a giraffe to tea, the King doesn't blink an eye and says, "Hello. How do you do?" and the Queen merely exclaims, "Well! Fancy meeting you!" The royal pair continue to invite the boy as their guest for tea, breakfast, lunch, dinner, apple pie, and Halloween, and each time he politely asks if he can bring a friend, waits for their assent, then brings a hippo, monkeys, an elephant, and once even a pride of lions into their elegant home. Beatrice Schenk De Regniers's gentle, repetitive, rhyming story, with the refrain "So I brought my friend," will resonate with young children, who will be pleased to see the well-behaved wild animals wreaking harmless havoc in the palace, and soothed by the unfalteringly open arms and perpetual politesse of the King and Queen. Beni Montresor's distinctive, inky, richly colored drawings earned this book a Caldecott Medal in 1965, and have won the hearts of children ever since. (Ages 3 and older) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Beatrice Schenk de Regniers is the author of many outstanding books for children, including some notable award-winners. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Highly recommended, indeed.
julia alexander woolley
Actually, I'm tired of reading it I've read it so many times to her, she can't get enough of it.
R. Smith
The illustrations are wonderful and the story is great fun.
Emily K. Paster

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The allure of royalty knows no bounds in the mind of a small child. For kids, even better than seeing a king and queen in court is the idea of being friends with them. What child wouldn't want to be best buds with the country's highest rulers? "May I Bring a Friend?" brings this idea radically to life. Starring one small boy, it combines the I'm-Indispensable-To-Royal-Rulers fantasy with the I'm-Friends-With-An-Array-of-Furry-Animals fantasy. It may not sound particularly promising, but the results are rather charming in the end.

Our first shot in this book is an image of a small boy holding an envelope proudly above his head. Says the text, "The King and Queen/ Invited me/ To come to their house/ On Sunday for tea". The boy is thrilled, but asks politely if he might bring a friend along. The rulers are peachy keen with this idea, so it's a bit of a shock when they find that the boy's friend is a giraffe. Still, all goes well. Next, the King and Queen repeat their invitation, this time for breakfast. The boy once more asks if a friend would be all right, they acquiesce, and lo and behold a hippo arrives and proceeds to eat all the food in sight. The monarchs are a bit perturbed by this, but it doesn't seem to mar their friendship with the boy since they once again invite him back for a Monday stew dinner. This time the boy brings monkeys. You have the gist of the book. Sometimes the boy brings lions, other times it's the odd elephant or seal. Finally, after a final invitation, the boy says, "No, no! My friends want you, instead/ To come and visit them...". So King, Queen, and lad have tea at the City Zoo. The final shot is of everyone in a bit cage, the royals hugging the boy who is grinning with glee.

It wasn't the ending I'd expected.
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Emily K. Paster on May 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
This was one of my favorite books as a child and my mother has fond memories of reading it to me. I recently rediscovered it as a book to read my own toddler and I have learned that most people have not heard of it. That's a shame. The illustrations are wonderful and the story is great fun. A little boy is invited to various meals by a doting king and queen and, contrary to all rules of etiquette, asks if he can bring a guest, who always turns out to be some more or less untidy zoo animal. The combination of royalty and wild animals makes this a perfect storm for my child. The text has wonderful rhymes, with lots of clever enjambment, and it reads quite musically. I hope more people discover this lost classic.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
This children's story is about a boy who keeps getting invited to dine with a King and Queen and each time he brings an unusual guest with him (the first being a giraffe). The King and Queen are very regal and treat the boy and his guest, no matter who or what it is, with politeness. Kids will get a kick out of this story. The book is illustrated by Beni Montresor and it won the 1965 Caldecott Medal for best illustrations in a children's book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on March 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"The King and Queen/Invited me/To come to their house/On Sunday for tea.// I told the Queen/And the Queen told the King/I had a friend/I wanted to bring.// The King told the Queen,/"My dear, my dear,/Any friend of our friend/Is welcome here."// So I brought my friend..." So begins Beatrice Schenk De Regniers' timeless classic, May I Bring A Friend? originally published in 1964. Our young narrator is invited to the palace quite often, in fact every day of the week, and has lots of interesting friends, he politely asks to bring...a giraffe to tea on Sunday, a hippo to dinner on Monday, monkeys to lunch on Tuesday, an elephant to breakfast on Wednesday, a pride of disguised lions for Halloween on Thursday, and a horn playing seal for Friday's Apple Pie Day. Finally on Saturday, the little boy and all his special friends extend an invitation to their ever-gracious hosts. "So that is why...// The King and Queen/And I and all/My friends were seen/On Saturday at half-past two/Having tea at the City Zoo." Ms De Regniers' joyous, lilting, rhyming text begs to be read aloud, and the engaging repetition of each day's new invitation allows little ones to interact and read along. Beni Montresor won a Caldecott Medal for his boldly imaginative, colorful, and detailed pen and ink illustrations, and youngsters will enjoy all the humor and silly antics of visiting zoo animals. Perfect for preschoolers, May I Bring A Friend? is still as fresh and entertaining as it was over thirty-five years ago, and is a simple little treasure to read and share now with friends and family, and future generations in the years to come.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is one of the very best children's books. The reason is repetition which children love. I'm 27 and I more or less remember every word. I don't have the book in front of me, but I can tell you that a boy, who is friends with the local king and queen, invites various animals to have tea with royal couple. After being very gracious to all of the furry guests, the king and queen wonder if it wouldn't be better to go to the animals' house for a change. They do!
Again, the key is repetition of the basic elements of the story with slight changes. (Sort of like Caps for Sale, is that still in print?) I really think this book helped teach me how to read, but I may be mistaken about that--it was a long time ago!
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