Rating: Significant Shortcomings
Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Tanja Wenisch
Publisher: Magination Press
"I never want to play with Quentin again. Never, never, never!" The book begins with this definitive declaration, and readers are then taken on a journey with the narrator as he tries to learn what being a friend means. Each page discusses another child that the narrator is--or is not--friends with, and explores the reasons why he's come to these conclusions. As children read this book with their parents, they will be able to discuss times where they've experienced similar conflicts and proper ways to deal with these situations.
From a young age, children have to learn how to interact with others and resolve conflicts. However, how the book addresses this important concept may fall short of the mark for some families, particularly in regards to the illustrations. For instance, when discussing other friends that the narrator does like and enjoys being with, there is a page that depicts a boy dissecting a stuffed animal, scissors in hand. Another page shows a boy that's ripped off the swim shorts of another boy (the narrator), leaving the boy bare-bottomed for readers to see. Intended to be lighthearted, it still may not feel appropriate for some sensitive families. The actual conclusion to the book, however, was satisfying. The two boys get together to play again and all seems to be well, as is often the case in real life.