Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Eoin Colfer
Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
Being alone is no fun, but if you’re lucky, you will be able to have an imaginary friend to keep you company. Fred is an imaginary friend. He floated around alone until, one day, a lonely child wished for him and he could go play with that child until the child grew out of him. Every time a child made other friends, Fred would fade away until someone new wanted him. He finally makes a friend named Sam who is the dream friend that Fred has always wanted, and he knows that when Sam doesn’t need him anymore will be the saddest day of his imaginary life. When Sam makes a new friend, Fred is worried, but when Sam’s new friend has an imaginary friend, Fred might never have to be alone again.
Although Fred is imaginary, the book shows will be familiar to anyone who has ever had a friendship fade away or who has felt lonely. It teaches that the rules of friendship applies to all kinds of friendships. The main character being an imaginary friend is a wonderful way to show the power of friendship, but also how hard it can be when friends come and go from your life. Some of the references, like Carnegie Hall and comic books, might be over the head of some younger readers, but the text makes it more geared towards older picture book readers anyway. This book will appeal to anyone who is lonely, likes imaginary friends, or even just likes friendship.