THE SECRET FRIEND by Joyce Dunbar

THE SECRET FRIEND

Age Range: 4 - 7
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

In the new Read Me/A Panda and Gander Story series, Gander decides to write a letter, and Panda can’t help but notice the proceedings and inquire about them. Panda learns that Gander is writing to a “secret” friend, and even as the bear urges the bird to be more loving in the way the letter is signed’suggesting the inclusion of three kisses and a big red heart—he stews over his own suddenly shaky friendship. When Gander wildly adds stickers and border art to the missive, Panda is quite taken aback, wondering who the secret friend is. Gander sends the letter off (in a slit in a shoebox) and when the letter “arrives,” it is addressed, of course, to Panda. Dunbar (see review, above) is especially astute at picking up on the emotional nuances of how children interact. Younger listeners will understand better than he does Panda’s drooping self-esteem and fear that a new friend has replaced him in Gander’s eyes. Craig’s illustrations are expressive—a dash of eyebrow communicates Panda’s uncertainties—while backgrounds and a scattering of project paraphernalia (stickers, scissors, colored pencils) convey the child-size realm the two friends inhabit. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 15th, 1999
ISBN: 0-7636-0720-7
Page count: 24pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1999