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BEST FRIENDS PRETEND by Linda Leopold Strauss


by Linda Leopold Strauss ; illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

Pub Date: Jan. 28th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-545-45171-0
Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

This cheerful celebration of imagination introduces two little girls—the best of friends—who like nothing better than to pretend.

Each double-page spread features a different pretend scenario; the girls make believe they are ice cream–truck operators, princesses, superheroes, astronauts, explorers and finally, grown-ups. The pink, glittery cover depicts the girls in their princess finery, a choice that might lead readers to expect nothing but stereotypical ball gowns, dancing and tea parties in the pages that follow, yet most of the imaginary scenarios involve the girls’ performing active, gender-neutral or even traditionally masculine roles such as hunting scary monsters, flying through space and navigating a jungle river. In the end, when the girls play “grown-ups,” they see themselves as mothers who work outside the home and continue to value their relationship with each other: “Purses, cell phones, / high heels, too… / We’re busy moms / with lots to do. // We’ll go to work. / You’ll live next door! / And we’ll be friends / forevermore!” The rhyming verses scan well, and the appealing illustrations create a distinctive universe for each scenario, helping to bring each one to life.

Toddlers and preschoolers will use these pretend ideas as a springboard to all sorts of adventures of their own conjuring.

(Board book. 2-5)