Author: Jairo Buitrago; transl.: Elisa Amado
Illustrator: Mariana Ruiz Johnson
Publisher: Greystone Kids, 2022; orig.: Leetra Final, 2021
Themes: friendship, social interaction, toads
Opening: To make friends you should sit under a huge tree.
Summary: (from my library’s catalog) A quirky and uplifting guide to making new friends for kids 4 to 7 from a beloved, internationally renowned author. What’s the best way to make friends? Toad has the most magnificent ideas! Sometimes they don’t go according to plan… but that’s okay. Eventually Toad tires of making new friends, but comes to a marvelous conclusion: sometimes being with yourself is a good way to pass the time too. A hilarious and heartfelt read for kids who are starting school or experiencing other unfamiliar social situations, Ways to Make Friends will give them the courage to stand on their own–and maybe try one of Toad’s unconventional methods to make a friend for themselves.
I picked this book because: Sold by the cover again! I like to point that out, but also admit that more often than I’d like the story doesn’t necessarily meet the expectations I form based on cover art – and vice versa. I guess I am trying to say there is no shame in judging the cover! I just love the quirky ideas this toad has and think this will have kids giggling and wondering what works and what doesn’t. The best books make us think a lot after reading!
Resources/activities: This is a great text for discussion: each of Toad’s suggestions could be contemplated and chewed over – some seem simple, but are they really good ideas to try when we want to make friends? Read companion books on making friends; share stories of how we made friends; share some ideas that didn’t go as planned and how we might try better next time. And don’t forget to ask, what does being a friend mean and how many friends does one need to get by?
For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.