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A FRIEND LIKE YOU by Tanja Askani


by Tanja Askani & photographed by Fishing4

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-545-05851-3
Publisher: Scholastic

This well-intended but ill-conceived look at disparate animal pairs features high-quality nature photographs of appealing creatures that are not normally found cavorting through verdant meadows in tandem. Each spread includes a full-page photo of a different pair, along with one simple sentence in large font on the facing page. Several animals are difficult to identify in the photos (a wolf cub that looks like a white dog, for instance) or are species not familiar to children in the United States (a dormouse, a hedgehog and a coati). The cheery, first-person text indicates the animals have willingly chosen to become friends and that their feelings about their animal friends are comparable to human feelings, attaching anthropomorphic sentimentality in a way that does not accurately reflect the natural world. The final pages recap the photos and describe the animals and their particular circumstances. Though the animals are undeniably endearing, the concept will confuse young children, who do not yet have the background to understand that most animals don’t pair up in this friendly fashion—and shouldn’t. (author’s note) (Picture book. 2-5)