The Friendship Book

Arcturus. May 2022. 96p. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781839408571.
Gr 3-6–This workbook, written by a counselor and a psychologist, outlines in practical detail different strategies for making and keeping friends. While the author offers no introduction to guide the use of the book, an explanation at the end suggests readers pick it up on a topic by topic basis, as opposed to working through from start to finish. The language is clear and straightforward for readers with English fluency, though the font, resembling handwriting, is distracting. While it is not explicitly noted, the content seems aimed at those who struggle with skills required to read and interpret social cues and relationships, or those whose anxiety prevents them from doing so. Furthermore, the text refers to using crayons and going on play dates, but the content and images are more suited for an upper elementary or middle school reader. Each topic (including saying hello, active listening, body language, empathy, and disagreements) occupies a spread with ample white space, delightful and diverse illustrations, along with suggestions and a thoughtful interactive activity, most which require drawing or writing directly in the book—a red flag for libraries. One of the topics is titled, “Find Your Tribe,” which is an unfortunate choice of words in a book about sensitivity and kindness.
VERDICT A workbook best suited for single-use with children who are working on learning the tools to build friendships.

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