Monday, June 11, 2007

Tales of Friendship

I love a story about friendship, and there are plenty of great ones around for young children, who are busy learning the ins and outs of this kind of social interaction. Myself, I particularly like stories of sticking together through thick and thin, and that involve acceptance of the quirks of our friends because, let’s face it, people are quirky. Here are a few of my favourite kinds of stories – sweet, but not sappy.

Bravo, Mildred and Ed!
Karen Wagner, ill. Janet Pedersen

When Mildred and Ed have competing engagements on Saturday, each wishes the other could be there, but they find a solution. They practice being alone together all week, and each has a little piece of the other with them. When they get together again after their week of solitude, they are that much stronger, and their reunion all the sweeter.

Horace and Morris But Mostly Dolores
Horace and Morris Join the Chorus (But What About Dolores?)

James Howe, ill. Amy Walrod

Horace, Morris, and Dolores are three of a kind, until the boys decide to join a club that doesn’t admit girls. Dolores, however, isn’t all that suited to the girly-girl Cheese Puffs club, and quits, along another adventurous young mouse, Chloris. They swing by the boys club and pick up both Dolores’s other friends, as well as a fifth to round out their group: Boris, and they build a clubhouse of their own. I love this tale of bucking the established order of things and finding a way to do what they really love together.
In the second story, the trio plan to join the choir but Dolores, who loves singing, doesn’t make the cut. She finds her own way to become part of the show, in the end, and becomes a star. Older kids love these (6-9 or so), for they can relate to the situations well.

Chester’s Way
Kevin Henkes

Chester and Wilson are best friends. They are a strange pair, but they are two peas in a pod. When Lilly moves into the neighbourhood, she "has her own way of doing things," and the boys avoid her until the day she saves them. The three of them teach each other new things, and soon they are always together. A wonderful story about finding out what someone is really about.
And because I love Kevin Henkes so (seriously, I made an ass of myself when he came to visit my library once. Like meeting-a-rock-star-type behaviour.), I would suggest also two of his books about younger children making friends that help them with the transition to kindergarten:
Wemberly Worried

George and Martha

George and Martha, Best Friends

(and more)

James Marshall

This hippo pair by the famously goofy Marshall crack me up every time, playing silly tricks on each other and testing the boundaries of their freindship in ridiculous ways. They sort it out by explaining what they didn't like and apologizing, just like we tell our kids, without ever seeming "message-y."

Originally posted on MommyBlogsToronto/Better Than a Playdate.

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