Carle, Eric

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
When his friend moves away, a boy sets out on a journey to find her.

Publisher: New York, NY :, Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.,, [2013]
ISBN: 0399165339
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) :,illustrations (chiefly color) ;,32 cm


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Jul 13, 2014
  • green_bear_966 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.


Jan 27, 2014
  • ksoles rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Readers need only glance at the cover of "Friends" to recognize Eric Carle's signature style: bold lines, splashy colours and brush strokes that teem with energy. And, once again, Carle has produced a picture book that sits outside the norm. The story begins with two best friends who play, dance and tell each other secrets. When the girl moves away, the boy embarks on a quest to find her. The journey, through an intense mountain climb, a dash through driving rain, and a dreamy sleep on a cloud, certainly compels but also borders on too abstract for the youngest readers.

The friends ultimately reunite and then, in an abrupt, out-of-nowhere twist, they get married! The ending may leave children confused and adults both speechless and frustrated but, upon a second read, the story does reveal a sweetness and authenticity that older children can come to appreciate. The author also includes a postscript in the form of a photo of his young self next to a friend he moved away from and about whom he often thinks. Again, this gesture will probably appeal to adults more than to kids but it could provide a valuable teaching opportunity.

Not a book for preschool story time or group sharing, "Friends" will find its place in the laps or at the bedsides of older children who can both appreciate the animated art and contemplate the feeling of loss, the power of perseverance and the value of friendship.


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