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“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.”
Summary: Two girls who used to be neighbors now live in two different countries. They write to each other, they talk on the phone, they dream about visiting together again. This is a book to help kids understand change, such as a friend moving away.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read
Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Age of Child: Read by an 8-year-old child at Effort Baptist Church as part of the Children's Ministry and Use Your ABCs project.
Young Reader Reaction: I picked this book because I liked the colors on the cover. I liked it because of the pictures, but I didn't really like the story. The story shows you that you can still be friends, even if you don't see each other every day.
Adult Reader Reaction: The girl who narrates the story is "talking" to her friend who moved away. The narrator talks about how her friend worries about what is happening in her country. Although it doesn't mention war, you can infer it. This would be a good book for military families or schools where kids move a lot.
Pros: This is a good book for friends to share when they are getting ready to move.
Cons: Because the story emphasizes that the girls live in different countries, this may not be as helpful for friends just moving across town or state lines. The author didn't take advantage of the Internet and the child's ability to learn more about the country where her friend lives.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a helpful story, but there are stronger books out there.
Educational Themes: The story offers ideas about friendship and staying in touch that kids will relate to. Because the friends are in two countries, use the opportunity to research how kids live in different countries. The author also introduces the idea that they can learn news (sometimes sad or worrisome) on television. This creates an opportunity to talk about how to watch the news.
Notes: This book is available in multiple languages.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, feelings, friendship, foreign language
Date(s) Reviewed: June 2009, March 2014
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