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YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND! (Starring Lucille Beatrice Bear) Hardcover – September 5, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Behind the Scenes of You Will Be My Friend!
(Click on Images to Enlarge)

I used my computer to make sketches, play with text, and add borders to each page during the early development of You Will Be My Friend. Then I printed out all the pages and put them up on my wall, so I could see how they worked together as a group. I marked up the printouts with all kinds of notes to myself, and would later go back to my computer to make those changes.

After developing the story and pictures, I eventually settled on final sketches and words for every page. Using a light box, I traced the final sketches onto paper with a mechanical pencil.

I used a standard paper towel as a chamois, and rubbed the graphite to get texture and various shades of gray.

Using that paper towel chamois, mechanical pencils and erasers, I eventually ended up with final drawings.

In many cases, I would draw the different elements of an illustration separately, and combine them later with my computer. Here are a few drawings that ended up on the book cover, along with additional drawings not seen in this photo.

I also used mechanical pencils and erasers to do the hand-lettering for all of the dialogue in the story.

I cut construction paper to create word balloons, boxes for the narration text, and the background papers that would eventually be placed behind the drawings in the final illustrations.

I scanned all of the drawings, cut paper, hand lettering, and photos of wood grains into my computer. Then I adjusted the positions of the various elements of the illustrations, tinted the drawings to a sepia tone, and added transparent color to create the final art. Here you can see what the drawing looked like before and after I added the color.

Photo credit: Gwen Schroeder


"Finding a friend is less a matter of sheer will than quiet acceptance in this charming new work...Handlettered speech balloons and wood borders give the book a rustic but friendly feel, with endpapers that should not be missed."―Kirkus Reviews

"I click with this book. Brown has pushed his style past its smoother beginnings...into a homemade hybrid of pencil and construction paper and even wood. Who knows how he does it, really? The appeal of YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND! is as deep a mystery as friendship, but I'm not interested in delving into its mysteries. I just want to take it to lunch."―Daniel Handler in The New York Times

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Lexile Measure: 260L (What's this?)
  • Series: Starring Lucille Beatrice Bear
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1St Edition edition (September 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316070300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316070300
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Peter Brown writes and illustrates books for young whippersnappers. He grew up in Hopewell, New Jersey, where he spent his time imagining and drawing silly characters. He studied Life Lessons at the School of Hard Knocks, and then got his B.F.A. in Illustration from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

After college Peter moved to Brooklyn, New York and spent several years painting backgrounds for animated TV shows. And then in 2003 he got a book deal to write and illustrate his first picture book FLIGHT OF THE DODO, which is a story that involves bird poop...in case you're into that kind of thing. Since then he's written and illustrated three more picture books, and illustrated several other books for young whippersnappers. His books have been adapted into plays and animated short films, they have been translated into a dozen languages, and they include the 2010 E.B. White award winner, Children's Choice Award winner, and New York Times bestselling books THE CURIOUS GARDEN.

His books CHILDREN MAKE TERRIBLE PETS, YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND! and his latest book, CREEPY CARROTS! are also New York Times bestsellers and award winners. CREEPY CARROTS! written by Aaron Reynolds has also been named a 2013 Caldecott Honor book.

You can find out more about Peter and his books at peterbrownstudio.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I will be honest with you folks. It has been a long time since I have read a children's book that brought me so much joy and tickled my funny bone like Peter Brown's latest work being reviewed here. There really is absolutely nothing not to like about this book, and that goes for children as well as adults and those adults who still have a bit of child lurking in them. I actually found myself smiling throughout the entire book and actually laughing out loud at times.

Lucy, a rather gregarious little girl bear, wakes up one morning and informs her mother that she has decided to make a new friend that very day! She is excited. Her mom tells her... "That IS exciting, but how do you plan on finding a new friend?" Lucy informs mom that "the forest is crawling with fun critters. Surely ONE of them will want to be my friend."

And so her quest to find and make a new friend! Lucy soon discovers that making a new friend is not really all that easy, especially if you do not know how. Misadventure follows misadventure for our little bear cub in a pink skirt. Somehow things just don't work out time and time again. Grabbing a skunk and scrubbing the skunk down with soap and water and a brush to get the smell out is not the way to get close to a skunk Lucy finds. Neither is perching on top of an ostrich and asking "So tell me, what's it like to fly?" And shouting at the top of her lungs "DOESN'T ANYBODY WANT TO BE MY FRIEND?!" in the middle of a flock of flamingos does not work very well either.

Peter Brown has a very quirky and dry sense of humor which children will understand instantly and adults will appreciate.
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Format: Hardcover
The irrepressible Lucy Bear, the star of "Children Make Terrible Pets", is back for her second adventure. This time, she's going to find a friend. She WILL find a friend.

Poor Lucy. She tries hard. She means well. But she just doesn't quite get it. She's enthusiastic - perhaps a bit too much so, as she splashes all the water out of the frog pond and climbs into a giraffe's breakfast tree. She tries to be helpful - for instance, by scrubbing the smell out of the skunk. She tries to fit in - into the rabbits' hole, for instance. She'll do anything to find a friend (well, not quite anything, as we discover in a delightful reference to "Children Make Terrible Pets"). But for some odd reason, things just never work out quite right.

Devastated, Lucy pulls out all the stops, but force doesn't work either. Eventually, of course, Lucy finds her friend (or, rather, a friend finds her). It appears that Lucy has learned another valuable lesson.

In my review of "Children Make Terrible Pets", I mentioned that I was on the fence about the illustrations. The bears are rather boxy and the color palette is rather muted earthy-tones. But Peter Brown has won me over. His distinctive illustration style works perfectly with his whimsical yet oddly realistic story-telling. The illustrations, especially the facial expressions, perfectly capture the humor and other emotions of the story. Many individual illustrations are priceless, particular those which show Lucy's hapless attempts to find/force friendship, for instance, the illustration of Lucy chasing a cheetah yelling, "Come back here and have fun with me!"

Children and adults alike will laugh and smile at this delightful lesson in finding - and being - a friend.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is so funny! She doesn't have any friends, but is DETERMINED to make one.... at nearly ANY cost! This is great for kids who aren't "cool" - it shows them to have faith that they can make a friend. My son is a bit of a loner & this really encouraged him :) *spoiler alert - she makes a friend in the book!*
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The story is cute and the main character very endearing. The good thing is that even if you have to read this a thousand times to your little one, you won't get tired of the very accomplished, subtle, and enjoyable illustrations. Brown is a master.
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Format: Hardcover
SUMMARY: Lucille Bear has decided to make a new friend. She figures it will be easy. She tries one animal in the forest after another. But each time she is met with problems. First she doesn't understand how to play properly with some of the animals. Then she tries to be helpful and to fit in by doing what the other animals do, but Lucy either scares the animals or she doesn't feel comfortable. Next she tries to get pushy. Final she gets frustrated and sulks. When she least expects it, a perfect friend shows up.

ILLUSTRATIONS: The illustrations were created in mixed media of pencil, construction paper and wood. You would think this style might feel static, but Brown does such a good job of showing action and facial expression, that you feel the movement and the emotion on each page. On a couple of pages in the beginning, there were too many word bubbles grouped together making them difficult to follow.

REVIEW: I laughed out loud at this book from the very beginning. I just knew from page one that Lucille was going to bumble her efforts at making friends (she thought it would be oh so simple) and sure enough she did. Her efforts were hilarious as she made one mistake after another. Even her pushiness was funny. I loved when she tried to calm herself down, but merely fell apart. Best of all, I loved when the perfect friend, who loves doing what Lucy does, came along.

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