Thursday, February 9, 2023

This book is my best friend by Robin Robinson

I had not connected this picture book with the creator's previous work, the graphic novel No one returns from the Enchanted Forest. This argues well for Robinson's versatility as a creator, as their style adapts to different mediums.

Sunny and Aarush, named in the publisher's description but not in the book, open the story as they enter the library with their families, both rushing to grab their favorite book... the same book! Politely, they try to make each other understand - this book is their best friend! They absolutely have to have it. Sunny loves robots, wants to be a robot when they grow up, and the book is about robots. Aarush likes to pretend to be a mouse and the book ends with mouse, their favorite thing. Sunny, a little more outgoing than Aarush, leads the charge to find Aarush a new best friend book and the two trade recommendations, but nothing is the perfect fit. Too scary, no pictures, too long, just not like their favorite book. As families gather for a mermaid storytime in the library, the two realize their favorite part of their favorite book is when the robot and the mouse make friends - and maybe they can have more than a best friend book if they make friends with each other! The story ends with Sunny and their red-headed dad leaving the library with Aarush's twin siblings and mother, both with stacks of books and new friends!

This is a sweet, charming book that explores not only the wide variety of books and the community provided by libraries, but the challenges of making friends for kids (and adults). A tribute to anyone who's ever had a favorite book or struggled to find a friend.

Verdict: This may not resonate with kids who connect easily or are not big readers, but for quieter kids who love books it will hit the perfect spot and of course it's sure to charm librarians everywhere, who love to see people forming connections in our libraries. A new personal favorite for me!

ISBN: 9781665906814; Published January 2023 by Simon & Schuster; Review copy provided by publisher

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