Sunday, April 22, 2012

Children's Corner: You Will Be My Friend

You Will Be My Friend... a definite statement instead of a question. Once again, Peter Brown, author of Children Make Terrible Petsexplores a difficult situation with humor. With his traditional brown toned art, Mr. Brown teaches that it's not about being what others want us to be, it's about being ourselves.

Lucy decides to make a new friend and sets forth with confidence and determination.  But, Lucy is having a difficult time; she's trying too hard.  Lucy's single-minded tenacity, exuberance, and, as is often the case with my daughter, the sheer force of her enthusiasm bowls people over. It is not only exhausting, but it it is frightening potential friends off. Lucy tries everything she can think of to fit in, including ugly threats ("You won't get any snacks until you start liking me right now.").  Finally in desperation, Lucy yells finds herself facing an egg and shouts, "You will be my friend! I can wait."

Eventually, Lucy makes a friend when she's not trying, of course. It's a tough lesson for any child to learn. Trying to fit in and/or forcing situations without thinking the consequences through, can make things harder.  And while confidence is key, it's also important to be yourself.  I think it's a wonderful story and Peter Brown knows how to spin it without it being too heavy or preachy. It's a good reminder for any child that sometimes, you just need to be patient, slow down, and do your own thing.



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