Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Little Friends Hardcover – April 1, 2012
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
From Publishers Weekly
Louisa and Sara are BFFs, but their odd neighbor Barry, a boy with a ghostly white face who “rarely talked to anyone,” also intrigues them. A quarrel over the rights to a tire swing seems to signal a permanent standoff, but the girls’ openheartedness and Barry’s yearning for connection triumph, and by the end of the first of this book’s three seasonally themed chapters, the children are fast friends. Tukel, an independent filmmaker and animator making his book debut, understands how friendships play out, in both a literal and figurative sense; while the interactions between the kids aren’t eloquent, they feel authentic, whether it’s the girls’ confusion over Barry’s invented game, or Barry’s consistently prickly responses to Louisa and Sara’s ideas. The quirky cheer of Tukel’s drawings (which bring to mind the old Nickelodeon cartoon The Wild Thornberrys) and his confident, comics-style framing come together most satisfyingly in the second story, “The Snow Fortress,” in which Louisa and Sara prove that ingenuity can eventually overcome even the most freakishly talented snowball hurler.
From Kirkus Reviews
One tree plus three friends equals three quirky stories. Sara and Louisa do everything together. Barry lives next door, but he is friendless. In the first story, he commandeers the tree at the top of the hill and refuses to share his tire swing with the girls. An argument escalates into near disaster when Barry cuts the rope to the girls’ swing, and they retaliate by cutting through most of his. The scary consequences bring the three together, initially awash in accusation and guilt, but ultimately friends. The second story takes place in winter and involves a fortress of snow, the tree and one amazing snowball fight. When spring returns, the tree is struck by lightning, and the buddies imagine a new life for the stump. Comic-book–style panels combined with full-page illustrations keep this universal story moving along at a nice clip. The three children are easy to tell apart—Sara sports a tan face and red pigtails, Louisa is brown-skinned with a bouncy black hairdo and Barry’s gray tint and wide, tooth-sprinkled mouth will amuse all readers. Each story has its own background color as well, brown for fall, blue for winter and green for spring. Readers who like comics with a storyline will look forward to further refreshingly non-saccharine tales of these three friends.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $0.99 (Save 75%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The format and image quality of the book reminds me a lot of a comic book or a comic strip. There are a bunch of smaller pictures, each containing a sentence or so to read. The drawings are good, but nothing terrific. There are three chapters to the book. Rather than the chapters building off of each other, to me they seemed more like individual short stories.
I did have mixed feelings about the content of the book. The first "Chapter" of the book involves a three children and a tire swing. A boy named Barry had a tire swing on a tree. He is a bit of a bully and does not want to share. He gets mad when two girls decide to mount their own swing on the opposite side of the tree. The rest of the story involves garden shears, cutting each other's ropes, and one kids swing going flying through the air when they are in it. While the story did have a good moral to it, I found it a bit dark. It kind of left me with the same feeling as when I wake up in the morning and found I am out of coffee.
Once I got past the darkness of the first chapter, I thought the stories were wonderful. They showed kids using problem solving abilities and promote kindness and friendship.
I then gave the book to each of my three children of various ages. Here were their comments on the book:
5 year old: She did not like it because they were being rude to each other (referring to Chapter 1). She did like the pictures. Rated it 3 starts out of 5
6 year old: She told me that she liked the story, but thought Barry was too mean (again a reference to Chapter 1). She though the book was good overall and liked the fact it had lots of pictures. Rated it 5 stars ot of 5
9 year old: My 9 year old felt the book was "too little" for her. She liked that each story taught a lesson. She thought the illustrations are just OK, but thought smaller children would like them. Rated it 5 stars out of 5.
I have mixed feelings on this book. Overall, I personally thought it was a decent book, but I was a bit turned off by the first chapter. The story lines are well written and I thought were beneficial stories for younger children. However, my two younger children really did not seem to get past Barry being a bully, despite the three characters being friends in the rest of the book.
Factoring in the kids' reaction, I would give the book 3 stars. Averaging my kids' ratings together with mine, our average family review will be 4 stars.
In "The Tire Swing", Sara and Louisa are neighbors and best friends who are wary of the boy across the street, a loner named Barry. They discover a tire swing on a hill and decide to play on it but Barry gets upset because he feels that the tire swing is his. A series of altercations follow before the three eventually compromise and become friends. In "The Snow Fortress", Louisa and Sara are out walking one winter's day when they see a beautiful snow fortress on a hill. This turns out to be Barry's creation but he won't let them enter to play. Instead he issues a challenge in which the two girls must be able to handle his snowballs and enter the fortress, so that they too can be the "kings of the universe". Initially the girls lose the challenge, but later come up with a clever plan to win. Finally, in "The Tree Stump", the trio's beloved tree gets felled by lightning one spring day, and they need to figure out what to do with the remaining stump. Sara finally comes up with a brilliant idea that saves the day!
Tukel's stories and illustrations are delightful as they perfectly capture the mannerisms and behavior patterns of young children which will endear these stories to young readers. I even found myself chuckling as I listened to my second grader reading this out loud, and we were both delighted by the stories and illustrations. The language is kept simple, letting the illustrations speak for themselves, and this would be a great transition for children moving on from early readers to chapter books. The rich visuals can be an excellent motivating factor for reluctant young readers. Hopefully, the three friends will be back in future books to entertain young readers!
Most recent customer reviews
I read the book before I read to my kids just to get a feel for it.Read more