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Do You Want to Be My Friend? Board Book Board book – September 1, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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I got this book to go with the blue elephant sensory toy also available on Amazon because that listing said the elephant was based on this book. I assumed that the elephant was a character in the book, but my boys and I were all disappointed to find that he doesn't feature in the story at all. The elephant is no less an entertaining toy for my baby, but it was a bit of a let-down for my preschool-age boys who had been playing with it and were excited to see what it would do in the book.
Minimal dialogue can be interesting and well-executed in some kid's books (Have You Seen My Cat? is a similar story with very minimal, repetitive dialogue that we LOVE). Part of the joy of Eric Carle's books is that the dialogue is simple enough to invite the readers to ask questions about what might happen next, why a character might say or do something, or even make a simple lesson of each page (what does the brown bear/red bird/yellow duck, etc say?) That was not the case with this story. I suppose it's an invitation to improvise with your child as you read, but a little prompting is helpful.
I did not, however, walk away with the impression that it teaches xenophobia. I mean, you *could* get that impression, but I think it's kind of a stretch. I think we can look at animals as children's book characters without anthropomorphizing them. Should humans interact with and befriend other humans regardless of culture and other demographics? Sure. But outside of some of the amazing symbiotic relationships found in the animal kingdom, species don't interact a whole lot with other species outside captivity. I don't think your child is going to become a Klansman simply from reading a story in which a mouse has trouble making friends until he meets another mouse.
So my daughter and I work on colors, animals, sounds, and even sizes like big/small and short/tall.
Probably not a book they'll be interested in on their own, as it takes interactions with someone who can imagine the story as they go. And she uses books to make up stories, so this one is ok for her.
Depends on the child I guess, but love this author and all his books.
While it is true that most kids need to learn to accept children who are different than them, there are plenty of kids who feel "different" and need the hope that if they look long enough, they will find someone they can connect with.
For the children who easily find friends, this book can help them understand how it feels to be one of the "different" kids who need a friend. We can ask, "Would it have made the mouse feel better if the other animals would be his friend?"
This book can introduce great discussions. There are plenty of books that show children an ideal world. This one shows reality.
Top international reviews
Use the pictures, and if you are prepared to use your imagination, children will love it.
I think a must have in any collection of books for your child
he loves it.