Book Review: A New Friend

By Lucy Menzies; Illustrated by Maddy Vian

By Amanda Elshahawi, Creator, Enchanted Literacy September 6, 2022

This special book includes two stories in one that can be read side by side or one at a time. The book splits right down the middle, each side mirroring the other but in its own way. In one half, we meet Mae who lives with her family and is a bundle of love and laughter. On the other side, we meet Joe who just moved with his dad and is feeling nervous about everything being different.

Mae is excited for the special day, a new friend moved to town and she has a message to deliver to him. Her main mission is to find him. Joe is feeling lots of emotions about his first day. He tries to be brave but ultimately starts to feel unseen by those around him. Until the two children very literally crash into each other, and it opens the door for friendship and new adventures together.

This book is great for preschoolers - third grade. It shows good examples of how kids can be a welcoming friend to new classmates. I love the idea of writing a note, or if children are younger they could also draw a picture to give to another child. You could check in with the teacher to see if they know of any new classmates joining. To help them feel welcome, prep your child on how to make new friends. This book is also helpful to explore the many emotions of a child who is surrounded by lots of new and different things.  Menzies wrote a similar two-in-one book, “We’ll Be Together Again” which tells the story of Belle who lives in the city and her grandfather who lives in the mountains. Check them both out at your local library!

Amanda is a preschool teacher, mother and avid Central Park picnicker. She values community and is an advocate for families in the foster care system. One day she hopes to publish a children's book of her own. In the meantime, you can follow her Instagram, Enchanted Literacy, which encourages imagination and passion for reading.