cover image My Friend!

My Friend!

Taye Diggs, illus. by Shane W. Evans. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-250-13535-3

Frequent collaborators Diggs and Evans (Chocolate Me!) offer a story about a close friend calling another out. In alternating views, two boys of color are seen waking up to the beat of Diggs’s snappy rhymes: “Time to climb out of bed!/ Do what Daddy said./ Brush those teeth.../ and comb that head!” Bright colors and bold outlines add to a feeling of movement, while painted and textured illustrations by Evans add warmth and complexity. The boys meet on the bus, where their bond is underscored: “Must grab that seat just for US./ (The one cat I trust.)” While waiting for gym class to start, though, the narrator spots his friend “spilling ill will” as he sticks a leg out and trips a classmate. Without missing a beat, the narrator takes action, pulling his pal aside: “Makes no sense, nuh-uh./ That’s not how you treat someone.” An apology is made, and the victim forgives the harm. Readers will learn from watching the narrator react to his friend’s behavior in real time, with kindness and in friendship. Ages 4–8. [em](Jan.) [/em]