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You Should (Not) Read These Books

We Are (Not) FriendsI remem­ber my neigh­bor­hood friends stand­ing on oppo­site sides of a dri­ve­way, angry, yelling loud­ly at each oth­er. I don’t recall why, but I can still feel those emo­tions. That’s how strong feel­ings are. Our chil­dren deal with a mul­ti­tude of emo­tions every day.

You were prob­a­bly remem­ber­ing sim­i­lar instances from your child­hood. And what hap­pened after­ward? Most like­ly you were all friends again, because you need­ed to be. You lived in the same community.

Remem­ber when a new kid moved into the neigh­bor­hood? Or want­ed to join your cir­cle of friends at school?

Remem­ber how scared you were to do some­thing new, but you went along with your friends because you did­n’t want them to think you were afraid?

Fast for­ward to the kids in your life: chil­dren, grand­chil­dren, nephews, nieces, sto­ry­time fam­i­lies, stu­dents. They’re expe­ri­enc­ing the same feel­ings. Some­times, they’re unfa­mil­iar feel­ings and kids don’t know how to han­dle them. Grab one of these five books off the shelf. They are ter­rif­ic for open­ing up discussions.

These books by hus­band-and-wife team Anna Kang and Christo­pher Weyant are per­cep­tive and very much in touch with the feel­ings of child­hood. The text is short. The sto­ry is suc­cinct. Each book makes a good read-aloud (with feel­ing!). The illus­tra­tions are eas­i­ly dis­cernible from a dis­tance. With spare lines and bright col­ors, the two main char­ac­ters become favorites as the sto­ries move from angry to tense to fun­ny to lov­ing. They shout at each oth­er. They talk about all the things they are (not). But most­ly they are friends. They work through their prob­lems and remain friends. These are how-to books we can all cherish.

High­ly recommended. 

Video: Anna and Christo­pher read We Are (Not) Friends.

It Is (Not) PerfectWe Are (Not) Friends
writ­ten by Anna Kang
illus­trat­ed by Christo­pher Weyant
Two Lions, 2019

You Are (Not) Small, 2014, Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, 2015

That’s (Not) Mine, 2015

I Am (Not) Scared, 2017

It Is (Not) Per­fect, 2020

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