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How to Be a Friend: A Guide to Making Friends and Keeping Them (Dino Life Guides for Families) Paperback – September 1, 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Spotlighting some unavoidable trouble spots, the Browns impart valuable tactics for coping with rejection, shyness, arguments, etc.," said PW. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-Similar in style to the Browns' Dinosaurs Divorce (Atlantic Monthly, 1986), this picture book offers kids practical suggestions about resolving arguments, getting over being shy, handling bossy children and bullies, and more. The easy-to-read text contains many examples of how to be a friend, each paired with a picture of two or more dinosaurs in that particular situation. For example, "You can protect a friend if someone starts bothering him" is illustrated with a dinosaur saying, "Stop it! Leave him alone!" to a bully. Marc Brown's colorful, whimsical cartoons are integral to the appeal of the book. The front endpapers feature suggestions from a third-grade class on "Ways to Be a Friend" ("Be helpful," "Take turns," etc.) along with drawings of happy dinosaur faces, while at the back, "Ways Not to Be a Friend" ("Make mean faces," "Call them a name they don't like," etc.) are illustrated with grumpy faces. While there are many wonderful stories that deal with friendship, few give direct advice to children about what to do and what not to do. Sure to be a hit without hitting readers over the head with message.
Esther C. Ball, Carver Elementary School, Newport News, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 140 (What's this?)
  • Series: Dino Life Guides for Families
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316111538
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316111539
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is an excellent tool for parents and teachers to use with kids in the often times daunting world of social relatedness. Even kids who are very social would enjoy the way these gentle reminders are presented. Highly recommended for the special needs arena of Aspberger's and High Functioning Autism. Our autistic son loved and responded well to the almost "social story" approach. This truly spelled out a lot of social do's and don't's for him. His typical sister loved it as well. As a parent I highly recommend this book be in every kindergarden and first grade and second grade classroom. I bought several copies.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I do not write reviews often, only when I am unbelievably pleased or completely disappointed. My 3 1/2 has had a tough time making friends with peers. We bought a couple of books and videos as one means for helping her along.

Let me start by recommending the series of books by Cheri J. Meiners. The books don't even compare in regards to teaching my 3 1/2 year old lessons related to friendship and interacting with others...check them out.

As for the book being reviewed, as one reviewer commented the pages are much too busy. In addition, there is a lot of negative content meant to teach children what behavior to avoid, however for a 3 1/2 year old, I think the more exposure they get to negativity the more apt they are to emulate it. Examples:

"You Stupidosaurus!"
"You can't play it's only for boys!"
"Nya, Nya, na, na, na"
"You can't play with her. You're my best friend."
"This game is dumb I quit!"

I'm not naive enough not to realize that my child will be exposed to this, but to be exposed to these concept at 3 1/2 via a book, could be counter productive.

Even the section on ways to be a friend has examples I found asinine:

"My parents are getting divorced. Please don't tell anyone." "I won't"...Can you think of better examples to emulate trust? Yeah me too.

If these quotes haven't deterred you, then spend away, but do check out the Cheri J. Meiners series as I can tell you the books were far and away better for my 3 1/2 year old.
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Format: Paperback
.. and should be listed as such. My daughter loves this book, she is very intent as we read it, which means she is taking it in. She has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, which is a high-functioning form of autism. These kids have difficulty with social situations, and they are visual learners, so this is awesome.
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Format: Paperback
With caddiness starting at even earlier ages these days, I bought this book to help my 6 year old daughter understand that not everyone demostrates good friendship. She's so sensitive and doesn't understand why others don't respect her feelings. This book reiterates how to be a good friend and how not to be. It praises being kind and caring so it reinforced what she knew to be correct behavior. The illustrations she recognized immediately to be Marc Brown's adorable and colorful characters. I highly recommend this to any child who's learning to deal with bullies and pushy kids in school.
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By Reviewer on September 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
This teaches that friendship is reciprocal - your child doesn't have to go along with other kids all the time and they, in turn are expected to reciprocate by letting your child come first. Good teaching book. Too many books advocate giving guests their way at the expense of their host. Fortunately, this one doesn't. Useful for classes and families.
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Format: Paperback
My son originally received this book as a gift from a family member. He loved to have this book read to him and later to read it for himself. In my opinion, this book is a great tool at home and in school to teach young children what it means to be a friend - something that is difficult to learn for some children.

Since my son has now out-grown this book - I use it in my tutoring classes and plan to use it later when I become a full-time teacher.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 4 year old son's neuropsychologist highly recommended it as a great way to teach him about social norms so that he can build some good friendships instead of turning all the kids off with his boisterous and sometimes overbearing reactions (and affinity for pushing and chasing) Well, both of my kids (my youngest is 1.5) absolutely ADORE this book! They have wanted to read it every single day since it arrived. My son seems to be taking some of the lessons to heart, as he will bring up ways to be good friend or how not to be a friend randomly throughout the day. Our first playdate since getting this book also went swimmingly!
There are a couple of more mature themes mentioned in this book- divorce being one of them. Not that I personally think it is an inappropriate topic, but if you have a child that you don't think is ready to discuss something like that, it's something to keep in mind. Though the beauty of reading to small children typically too young for stuff like that is- they can't read! So if you skip over a part, they never even know! (I always skip the part where the mom commits a little B&E and then cradles her sleeping adult son in that-book-that-shall-not-be-named because, creepy. And both kids are none the wiser) So yeah, this book is great, especially if you kiddo needs a little nudge about how to be good friend material. I'm not sure why, but small children tend to take a book's word for it more than if mom or dad tells them themselves... Worth every penny!
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