By Peter Brown
Recommended by: Lisa Marinucci-Berner, Library Media Specialist, Shaker Road Elementary School, South Colonie Teachers Association.
Suitable for: Grades Pre-K through 3
Why I chose this book: How many times have you watched students struggle to make friends? Lucy Bear, the star of Children Make Terrible Pets, is back on another adventure — this time, she's going to find a friend. She WILL find a friend. Poor Lucy. She tries hard. She means well. But she just doesn't quite get it. She's enthusiastic — perhaps a bit too much so, as she splashes all the water out of the frog pond and climbs into a giraffe's breakfast tree. She tries to be helpful, for instance, by scrubbing the smell out of the skunk. She'll do almost anything to find a friend, but for some odd reason, things just never work out quite right. Devastated, Lucy pulls out all the stops, but force doesn't work either. Eventually, of course, Lucy finds her friend (or, rather, a friend finds her.)
What I like best: The humor that Peter Brown infuses into his good-natured tale is wonderful. His lessons on friendship are simple and true. Lesson #1: Always Be Yourself. Lesson #2: New friends appear when you least expect it. Lesson #3: Do not scream "You Will Be My Friend!" at people. Every child has spent time chasing a "friend." The truth is, all they had to do was meet the right one. What a fantastic life lesson.
How teachers can use this book: It's a great book about friendship for younger students. The lessons are simple and the humor will engage even older readers. Students will love to learn that the author was once a reluctant reader.