Friends and Foes: Poems About Us All

illus. by Douglas Florian. 48p. S. & S./Beach Lane. Jul. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442487956.
PreS-Gr 1—What is a friend? Florian's latest poetry picture book brings children together to giggle, frown, and yell out words about friendship. The first poem, "What Friends Are For," is the perfect way to start talking about friendship with youngsters. Readers will laugh, sympathize, and relate to the verse that runs an emotional gamut from loss to new beginnings. The mixed-media illustrations are cheerful and bring each entry together with images of hearts and children smiling, hugging, and working together. Florian's use of bright colors in the background is delightful. Orange, blue, and yellow splash across the pages. Just like friendship, some of the poems are funny like "Give and Take," in which friends give each other things, including a cold. In "You're Not My Best Friend," readers will giggle at the prospect of being friend number 993. Young ones will enjoy this wonderful collection of poems about close friends or even a friend who—in the illustrations—drifts away. Opportunities for group readings abound with some poems incorporating more than one voice.
VERDICT An amazing collection to read aloud and share with a group—add this new favorite to poetry shelves.

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