There is no question that With a Little Help from My Friends is the John Lennon and Paul McCartney song. It is right there in the title. What I did not expect was Henry Cole’s illustrations. I expected the classic song, but not how it was illustrated. I did not expect two friends, who are their own true selves, find each other. I did not expect some lovely coloring and a combination of minimal and just the right amount of details.
The story comes from the illustrations. You hear the song as a background as you follow these friends. You watch as they learn to deal with the ups and downs of life. And because they have each other, they can get through it. Even if they are far apart. And even if it means taking an airplane to get to each other.
If you were standing if front of me, I would put on my “gushing voice” and say, “This is a book you need to experience. I cannot tell you how to feel about it. I know you will find something I did not. And I took away something you would not even have considered. This is a book you experience on a personal level. No two people will experience it the same way.”
I would go on to say, “This is not just the song. You do not like the Beatles (Okay no accounting for taste)? But that is okay. You do not have to. This book is about two friends. And what you think they are doing, experiencing. They have no names, no dialog, just the song playing.
All ages can take something away from this book. It might be a hard group read (I dare you to not try and sing it a little bit) but for the one-on-one it would be the perfect story.