Be A friend – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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friendTitle: Be A Friend

Author & Illustrator: Salina Yoon

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books, January 2016

Themes: individuality, imagination, friendship

Ages: 3-7


Dennis was an ordinary boy

…who expressed himself in EXTRAORDINARY ways.


Dennis is an ordinary boy who expresses himself in extraordinary ways. Some children do show-and-tell. Dennis mimes his. Some children climb trees. Dennis is happy to BE a tree . . . But being a mime can be lonely. It isn’t until Dennis meets a girl named Joy that he discovers the power of friendship–and how special he truly is! At its core, this book is a heartwarming story of self-acceptance, courage, and unbreakable friendship for anyone who has ever felt “different.” (Goodreads)

Why I like this book:

The simple text embodies a rich and resonant message of self confidence, courage to be different and the deep friendship connection we all long for and are thankful when we recognize it as Dennis does when he meets Joy.

The horizontal rectangular book form, styelised characterization and embossed art inset on jacket promise the reader will be visually spoilt through this story, and we are. The more than head-nod to Marcel Marceau is beautiful and poignant and the opening two spreads are exquisite. The use of black and white almost makes it cinematographic for me, coupled with the broken red lines to depict imaginary toys and activities, and Yoon achieves a piece de resistance of mimography in this picture book. She breaks her own mold with this story and I truly hope we will see more from here for slightly older children.


  • Play charades.
  • See an interview I did with the author/illustrator here.

Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.


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