My Friends

Author: Taro Gami
Published: Chronicle Books 2005
Pages: 34
Tags: Jamal Jackson, Fiction, Preschool- 3rd, Picture Book, Friendship
Genre: Fiction

This book is about a young girl who goes on a fun filled adventure in which she learns many aspects of everyday life. While she is learning she is also spending time with and appreciating the nature around her. She learns all of the abilities from her friends, which consist of both animal and human kind alike.
This story is simplistic and better suited for younger children. The use of vibrant color and animals helps children to learn to identify animals and be entertained while they read. This book serves as more of a door as it encourages readers to find the fun and enjoyment in reading and learning. There are a few messages being communicated through the characters learning adventures. The first message that I noticed was that animals are friends. A majority of the book is the girl learning from her friends that are animals and enjoying them. This ideology is one that can be beneficial to communicate so that children have a love for nature. Another message is that people who teach you things are friends. In most situations, this is a good thing because friends help you better yourself. The last ideology being communicated would be that learning is an ongoing process. By communicating these ideologies children learn from this book that learning is a fun and never ending process.
The illustrations help add to the lightheartedness of the story. The girl is a minority which is a positive but also is always drawn happy. She is happy to be learning, this helps communicate the ideologies. The images are also all bright and colorful and the picture book code of color suggests that this makes the images be more positive and happy. The only problem I could see is the drawing of fierce animals as cute and cuddly might send the wrong message, but with a little cautioning from parents this can be overcome. Overall, the illustrations add to the narrative and helped communicate the ideology.

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