My Best Friend
My Best Friend
she really likes laughing
she laughed for the whole entire day
i pretended to be a pickle
she really really liked that
My Best Friend transports readers to see the world through the eyes of a young child—laughing, playing, discovering, and learning—all in the great outdoors. This whimsical story is written from the perspective of a young girl who meets another young girl with a shared love for using their playful imaginations. Their adventure expands from meeting on a tire swing to entertaining themselves with their own made-up games. Although they start off as strangers, the two girls become fast friends. In fact, they become best friends—she thinks. As the young girl shares her thoughts on friendships, she explains to readers that she doesn’t really know what a best friend is because she has never had one before. Her new friend is fun, they make each other laugh all day long, and, although they aren’t exactly the same in every way, they always get along and accept each other’s differences. These are the important qualities that young children look for in friendships. Friendships are magical and can form anywhere with anyone.
Julie Fogliano crafted this poetic text in a style that matches the voice of the young girl whose inner thoughts make up the story. Not following typical conventions, there are no capital letters, no end punctuation marks, and the text is comprised of stanzas with only a few words on each line, making the text intentionally choppy for the reader—just as these thoughts would be while running through the mind of an approximately five-year-old child.
Meticulously detailed earth-tone sketches in various shades of greens, pinks, and browns enhance the story by bringing the characters and setting to life. Although the selected colours are woodsy and neutral, Jillian Tamaki’s extraordinary illustrations radiate the blissful and genuine emotions of the young children: joy, laughter, silliness, and a sense of wonder are felt on each page. The light strokes in each sketch harmonize with the lightheartedness of the story. A balance of background and foreground details is maintained throughout each page to intrigue readers without overwhelming them.
Fogliano is a New York Times bestselling author and is the recipient of the 2013 Ezra Jack Keats book award. She has authored a variety of poetry and picture books which have been translated into more than ten languages. Tamaki is a Canadian illustrator and teacher whose work has been recognized as she was selected for two honours, including the Caldecott Honor. Her work is expansive, ranging between a diverse mix of genres and age groups.
Andrea Boyd is an early years’ teacher in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is currently pursuing her Master of Education degree specializing in Language and Literature at the University of Manitoba.