About a month ago, my cell totally pooped itself. I was able to factory reset it, losing everything in the process. Practically a month to the day, it poops itself again (just when I had gotten things back to mostly normal). Only this time it really “Shakespeare in the park” itself. (I was not allowed to swear as a child, so I used words that started with the same letter or sound. I think you can guess this one.) Therefore, I found myself on a Saturday morning, face shielded up (I can’t wear a mask-mask) talking to some kid (whose parents probably started kindergarten the same time I was (if not a few years later) and meeting our first besties) whom I informed that I was going to visit a friend, therefore, no I can’t send the phone out to be fixed, so please get me a new one. I told him this friend and I meet the day before kindergarten, then that first day of school we looked at each other and said, “Hey! I know you! Now we’re best friends!” (And he said that’s how kids make friends).
And that is how our heroine and her best friend meet in My Best Friend.
Okay, not the same way, but the feeling is the same. Our young narrator talks about how she has a best friend (though she is not sure as she’s never had one before). And we see all the wonderful things that they do together. They laugh and know they are best friends as the BF likes strawberry ice cream and our narrator doesn’t but that is okay. They like the fact that one can pretend to be a pickle (How awesome is that?) And we see the transformation of the narrator from child to actual imaginary pickle with Jillian Tamaki’s off the hook sweet and perfectly fitting the text illustrations. And, as the playtime winds down, our narrator says that the next time they play they will write their names on the sidewalk, like “this” (again shown by Tamaki’s art). SPOILER START: Only the narrator is not sure how her best friend would write her name as she did not ask her what it was! I interpreted this to mean, little kids just make friends and they are best friends right off when they hit it off. Names are not important. END OF SPOILER
Julie Fogliano has a mature sounding narrator, but in the end completely captures the feeling of what children are. Tamaki compliments this delightful gem of friendship with limited but perfectly detailed art. The text also is simple, but not simplistic. This book makes me want to give this to my best friend and to other friends so they can share with their best friend. Ages 5 to 8 could read solo (or with help) and younger listeners can enjoy it to. They might be more into “reading” the illustrations, but the book grows with them. And of course, like I said, this is an adult gift book.