“Will You Be My Friend?” is a reference book packed with colourful illustrations. It is a comprehensive guide to friendship, incorporating many of the ups and down involved in childhood relationships. The introduction explains how the book will help readers to understand these interactions, and points out that everyone is different, making us all unique. The merits of having friends is made clear and friendship itself is celebrated.
There is a contents page, introducing twelve small chapters and what page to find them on. What is a friend? How do I make friends? What can friends do together? These first chapters introduce friendship. There are subsequent chapters on what to do if a friend upsets you, and what makes a good friend, or a not-so-good friend. The book goes on to address how to show friends that you care, what your friends might think of you (encouraging self-reflection) and what your perfect friend would be like. And finally, there are chapters on nice things to say to friends, helping friends who are upset and saying sorry. Each of these little chapters is presented on a double page spread with short anecdotes relating to that chapter’s issue, and appealing cartoon pictures to help explain the message.
There’s a little dog that pops up with general advice in each chapter, too – a familiar character to look for throughout the book.
At the end of the book, there is a guide for parents, which is a useful resource offering advice on how to deal with children’s friendship issues.
There’s also a quiz on the back page, where children can decide whether various statements about friendship are true or false. The answers can be discussed with an adult.