Guest Author - Taisha Turner
Jacqueline H. Blumenstock and David C. Pool co-wrote the picture book Making New Friends. It is a great book for children who face moving to a new location. T. J. moves to a new house with his family. He misses his old friends. Despite his mother’s gentle coaxing to play with the kids in the park across the street, T. J. remains in his bedroom. He stares out his bedroom’s window and watch the kids flying an airplane.
It is Brownie, an imaginary friend created out of a packing box who helps him overcome his shyness. Brownie dresses like T. J. and his old friends. He and T. J. play and talk in the bedroom. Brownie turns into an airplane. T. J. flies the airplane high in the air.
Gently, Brownie talks T. J. into crossing the street and playing with the kids in the park. The other kids accept T. J., as Brownie and T. J.’s mother predicts. T. J. has new friends and is happy.
Making New Friends ends with T. J. liking his new friends and they he. Unfortunately, T. J. loses Brownie. T. J.’s father sends some paperwork to Virginia in the big brown box. However, T. J. has the self-confidence to meet new friends.
Making New Friends is a great picture book for the child making a transition in his life. May it be a move to a new home as T. J. or going to a new school? Transition in one’s life is usually traumatic. Adults also have trouble with transitions. May it be a new job or meeting people who may become future in-laws?
As the authors point out in the promotion notice, many children of service personnel face this situation every few years. These children not only move across country but to foreign countries. Making New Friends helps kids build confidence to mix with new children when they make the transition to a new home or school.
The first page of Making New Friends is a map of Pennsylvania with facts about the state. Remember T. J.’s father ships the big brown box to Virginia. There are facts and a map of Virginia on the last page.
Colleen M. Madden’s illustrations are bright and colorful. She vividly depicts the characters on the adventure book’s pages.
If you have or know a child who is moving, Making New Friends is a good confidence booster. The child can share this picture book with the students in his new class. He will learn other children have the same fears as he.
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Note: Making New Friends by Jacqueline H. Blumenstock and David C. Pool review copy was received free from Media Masters Publicity.