The other week I brought home a couple of books from the library, little realising how poignant and reflective they would become during the ensuing week. Let me try to explain……A dear friend I have known for many years and a work colleague was made redundant at an office I was Managing while their boss was away. While it was tough being the go-between, provider of a shoulder to cry on, to talk to, to vent their anger, nothing is more painful than to watch a friend go through this. Even when her stinging cries of “well you have a job, I don’t…”, “how can you possibly know how I feel….” No matter the arm around the shoulder, hugs to comfort the tears, one waits in silence for the hurt to subside, being there, being patient and doing my best to understand. This past Friday while having drinks after work, I watched as I saw her laugh again, though her eyes were a little sad, I knew she had turned the corner. We talked, there was no need for apologies, just an understanding we are there for one another……….. that’s what friends are for.
The books were…….
Friends: People I know …… by Leon Read
This brightly coloured clear text literacy training book promoting learning through talk and play, it helps children to look at what is a friend. About making friends, sharing, falling out and making up. while it’s set at ages 8 – 12, I would think it could be easily used in the classroom reading aloud sessions with as young as 5 year olds. This is one in a series of Tiger Talk Sets, such as Tiger Talk About Me, Get into Science, and My Day Out sets. My Day Out set would include… at the Museum, at the Park, at the Shops, and at the Swimming Pool. This is an excellent book to promote discussion time and it even asks to list down who your friend is, what you like about them, what do they do best, why they are your friend etc…..
My Best Friend ……. by Mary Ann Rodman and illustrated by E B Lewis
Lily tries very hard to impress another girl in her neighbourhood, even to the point of getting a new bathing suit and having her Dad help her to improve her diving skills, so Tamika will notice and be her friend. I think we can all relate to wanting to be liked at some point in our growing years. That desire to be liked and the hurt when that person, for whatever reason does not reciprocate. Sometimes the best of friends are right in front of us, as Lily finds out. The heartbroken disappointment is captured in Lily’s own words and the bright watercolours capture the feel of the story taking place at the neighbourhood pool. For ages 4 and up the inside flap says it all….friendship is not always as simple as we wish.