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*Best Best Friends* by Margaret Chodos-Irvine
Best Best Friends
by Margaret Chodos-Irvine
Preschool-grade 1 40 pages Harcourt May 2006 Hardcover    

Clare and Mary are best friends. Every day in preschool, they do everything together. They sit together, play together and begin each day with a hug. Like most preschoolers, Mary and Clare are learning the joy of having a best friend.

On Mary’s birthday, their friendship is tested as Clare is left behind in all the excitement. The birthday girl gets special treatment, everyone singing Happy Birthday and sharing pink-sprinkled cupcakes. To top it off, Mary is allowed to wear a shiny gold crown all day long.

Clare learns one of the first important lessons when her friendship with Mary is threatened by jealousy. Of course, Clare doesn’t understand exactly why she feels so angry, only that she is left out and doesn’t like it one bit. The two friends end up in a shouting match: “You are not my best friend!”

Each goes off to play with other friends, but after naptime, Clare wakes up and draws a picture for Mary, one that says “Happy Birthday Mary.” Clare learns that sharing is part of growing up and that real friends can always make up again. Like all the other days at preschool, this one ends with a hug.

The simple illustrations are colorful and age-appropriate: school-day images, primary colors, children learning to cope in a larger world. Fresh and easy to read, this is an excellent story for an age group that is discovering more every day the difficult and important lessons along the way.

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  Luan Gaines/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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