When you think of old friends you might think of the friend you have had since kindergarten (all of two years ago), or you might think of the one you have had since high school (over thirty years ago). Or you might think of your friend who lives in a senior home. And that thought is a little closer to the theme of the story about a young girl and her special friends in Old Friends by Margaret Aitken.
Marjorie is an old soul who wants her friends to like the same things she does. But it is hard to find people who like knitting, baking, and gardening that are her age. Then one day she sees a senior group is having all the goodness she wants, but since she is not a senior citizen, she is not allowed to join. But that does not stop our Marjorie! She is going to have to be creative! And she goes undercover as a senior citizen adult herself who makes friends with all types of colorful people. Even if they do “cha cha” a lot.
Hijinks ensue, people are found out and we learn that baking, knitting, and gardening is for everyone and that dancing has a lot of old and new moves to learn. And even an odd fellow like Frank (who shows up one day and is terribly short for his “age” and mustache suggests) can join in. We know that Marjorie and the seniors of the group will learn that they can learn from each other and be friends, but the tension for the younger crowd is there.
A lot of the set up comes from the illustrations of Lenny Wen. They are very colorful, detailed without being crowded, and fun to view. They move the story in a complimentary manner in this all age book.