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