'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 2 January 2012

Review: You Will Be My Friend

You can just hear the droning tones of this delightfully adorable and very irritating little bear as she flings herself around the friendly neighbourhood forest with the sole purpose of finding herself a new friend.

After announcing to her mum that she is off to hunt down all manner of local critters and make them her friend, Lucy sets off into the forest, skipping and dancing - with every intention of climbing trees, doing cartwheels, going swimming, having a dance party and picnics with her new recruit.


Her first potential friend is a frog in a pond, leaping from lily pad to lily pad. Lucy also does a flying leap . . . right into that pond, empyting it instantly of all water . . . not to mention all potential, slimy green friends.

Next is a bespectacled giraffe, making breakfast of the leaves at the top of a rather tall tree. Unable to wait til he's finished eating, Lucy barges up the tree and right into his breakfast dish. Needless to say, things don't work out that well.

Her encounter with a skunk is a similar disaster, ditto an ostrich, some rabbits, a beaver and a kangaroo. 

Lucy can't work it out. She's doing all the right things. She's being warm and friendly. She's asking questions. She's attempting to fit in, even when she simply can't possibly fit. That's when Lucy starts getting grumpy. You know you're probably being a tad psychotic on the friend front when you point at an egg in a nest and tell it "You WILL be my friend. I can wait."

Dear, sweet, bull-at-a-gate Lucy is a picture book's dream character. She's funny, real, joyous and totally over the top - ideal ingredients for having kids in stitches. The warmth and brilliant humour of the storyline beautifully buffers the central 'moralistic message' and the illustrations are beyond priceless. 

Using vintage-inspired colour, cartoonish layout and speech bubbles, author/illustrator Peter Brown has created a visual feast with this book that make it a spectacular all-rounder for kids of all ages.

Title: You Will Be My Friend
Author/Illustrator: Peter Brown
Publisher: Little, Brown, $24.99
Publication Date: October 2011
ISBN: 9780316070300
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
For ages: 3 - 10
Type: Picture Book