CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 21. . . .January 31, 2014
Although many of the best moments in our lives involve friends, they can also be the source of heartache and angst. Such is the case with Orca’s new picture book, Best Friend Trouble. Hanna and Lizzy are best friends. When Lizzy throws the ball farther, Hanna’s feelings are hurt. As it turns out, their friendship has hit a rut because of the constant competition between the two of them. Hanna goes to her brother, father, and mother to express her discontent. They all suggest different ways for Hanna to take her mind from her problems.
For the young, target audience, Frances Itani’s text is one with which they will readily be able to relate. Children (and adults) often bicker with their best friends over seemingly trivial problems. The beauty of Itani’s story is that it is through talking things over with Lizzy that she and Hanna are able to reconcile their differences. This is an important lesson for readers to learn while they are young. Hanna comes to understand that she has also been inconsiderate towards Lizzy. By talking over their problems, they learn they both have special talents and abilities and they should celebrate and embrace these things rather than constantly be in competition with one another.
Dr. Gregory Bryan is a member of the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba, where he teaches children’s literature classes.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.