cover image My Friend Fred

My Friend Fred

Hiawyn Oram, illus. by Rosie Reeve. Tiger Tales, $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58925-105-2

In a gentle story about learning to share, a girl named Grace adores her family's fluffy white labradoodle, Fred, and they do just about everything together%E2%80%94whether it's swimming, running, or sprawling out on a squashy, pink beanbag. In fact, she doesn't like to share Fred with anyone: "I know he is mine because he is always there when I open my eyes in the morning. He is always there when I shut my eyes at night." When Grace's sister, Sarah, tempts Fred to play ball, Grace haughtily picks up the dog and takes him back to her room. But Fred's paws are itching for outdoor play, and Grace comes to realize that sometimes sharing Fred is okay ("%E2%80%98Thanks, Grace,' barked Fred, already leaping for the ball. %E2%80%98Thanks, Grace,' said Sarah's friends. %E2%80%98Thanks, Grace,' said Sarah. %E2%80%98This is very big of you"). Despite Grace's hasty reversal, Reeve's assured illustrations are lovingly lit with vibrant colors, and Oram underscores the importance of generosity while acknowledging the power of special bonds. Ages 3%E2%80%937. (Mar.)