Be a Friend
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Author: Salina Yoon
Illustrator: Salina Yoon
How this book might help: Reassures children that it is normal to be different! Encourages the reader to celebrate these differences and understand that there are other people who feel the same way, who are out there waiting for friendship, too. This story would help children with mutism or other communication issues, who struggle to relate to those around them.
Dennis is an ordinary boy, but he has unusual ways of expressing himself. His nickname is Mime Boy, because he doesn't speak - he only mimes. When other children show and tell at school, Dennis mimes instead. Whilst other kids climb trees, Dennis is busy being a tree. But he can feel lonely. The other children don't relate to him. One day, when he is alone, pretending to kick an imaginary ball, something unfamiliar happens - the ball is caught, and at that moment, Dennis meets Joy. Joy is a little girl who also likes to mime, and lives life the same way as Dennis. They don't need words to get along as friends together, and the world is suddenly a much happier place.
Reviewed by: Rebecca Seymour
Things we liked about this book: The style of illustration is particularly charming and, along with the text, introduces the reader to the art of mime, as opposed to focusing just on Dennis' specific difference - that he is mute.
Worth Noting: It is emphasised at the start of the story that Dennis is an ordinary boy - it's just his method of communication that is different.
Age Range: 3+