Blog tour: ‘How to Mend a Friend,’ by Karl Newson, illustrated by Clara Anganuzzi.

Today, I’m sharing a really beautiful story written as a result of Karl’s recent experience of going through chemotherapy and having friends old and new reach out to him in support.

‘Some friends need a great big hug to make them feel well.
Some prefer to be alone. Some listen, others tell
the most adventurous stories of the times that went before!
Some friends may not want to talk about them anymore.

At times, we all feel a little bit broken. Karl’s simple text is a guide on How to Mend a Friend, whether it’s a friend with a broken toy, a broken heart, a loss they can’t explain or the sadness that comes when someone else eats the last cookie.’

I think that children will immediately relate to the little girl and her animal friends as they explore all the different ways in which friends can be there for each other. Whether you’re the whale who likes to sing, dance in the rain like an elephant, or watch a funny show like a monkey, there’s an animal there for everyone! It would be lovely for children to think about what animal beat represents them and how they’d like to be treated if they need a friend.

Discussing how different people like to be treated in different ways is a great way to help children develop empathy for, and be sensitive to, the varied needs of others. It can sometimes for hard for children to understand that just because they like something, it doesn’t mean that others do too. It may also be that children haven’t actually considered how they’d like to be treated if they’re feeling down. This gorgeous book would certainly provide them with the opportunity to become more self-aware.

Anganuzzi’s warm, reassuring illustrations certainly enhance the positive, affirming feel of Newson’s text. ‘How to Mend a Friend’ would be a great addition to anyone’s bookshelf.

Library Girl.

*Many thanks to Studio Press for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour*

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