A collection of short poems and quotations about friendship is illustrated by Engelbreit in her immediately recognizable style with sweetly smiling children, decorated borders and fanciful flowers.
The quotations include brief thoughts on friendship from literary giants such as Shakespeare, Longfellow, Thoreau and Yeats, as well as several anonymous but familiar sayings, such as “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” Contemporary selections include Shel Silverstein’s “Hug o’ War” and the text to the old camp song, “Make New Friends.” Several Bible verses pertaining to love and friendship are also included. Many pages are full-sized illustrations with the quotation worked into the picture, while other pages include several short quotes with spot illustrations or decorated initial capitals. Though most of the cherubs depicted are white, children of multiple ethnicities are included in some illustrations, and one picture shows a little girl walking alongside her friend, who uses a wheelchair. Though the collection doesn’t really explore any new territory and Engelbreit’s worldview is determinedly cheerful, this will appeal to the artist’s legions of fans and is an obvious choice for the gift market.
The cheerful, nostalgic flavor of Engelbreit’s illustrations may be more appealing to adults than to children, but the quotations express worthy values to pass along to the young. (Picture book. 4-8)