cover image This Book Is My Best Friend

This Book Is My Best Friend

Robin Robinson. Simon & Schuster, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-6659-0681-4

This all-dialogue picture book from Robinson (No One Returns from the Enchanted Forest) opens with two kids—one with pale skin, red hair, and big glasses, and one with brown skin and dark wavy hair—reaching for the same robot book on the library shelf. Each claims the book as their respective BFF, asserts possession based on passion for an element of the story, and tries to wave off the competition with an alternative title. But within a few pages, the children each reveal that the book is a critical source of solace: one child’s mother is in the hospital, and the title is a “nice, familiar best friend” that “makes being alone less scary.” For the other, the book offers “a quiet world” amid a bustling household that includes twin infant siblings. As the kids suggest alternate titles for each other, empathy and friendship blossom, and the two realize they can share the book during their library visit. Earnest and moving, with thin-lined scenes in green, orange, and teal that affirm the variously diverse library-going community, the story underscores the many roles that books can play, including modeling compassion, understanding, and connection. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)