My Friends by Sarah Ridley and Ryan Wheatcroft

The Blurb On The Back:

My Friends

What makes a good friend?

How do you make friends?  What happens when friends fall out?  What is bullying?  In this book find out all about friendship and how to have good relationships all through your life.

Me and my World explores topics that are important to children as they grow up.  The text and pictures provide lots of talking points, while questions help children to relate information to themselves and discover their similarities and differences.

ME AND MY WORLD: MY FRIENDS was released in the United Kingdom on 10th June 2022.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book

You can order ME AND MY WORLD: MY FRIENDS by Sarah Ridley and Ryan Wheatcroft from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Sarah Ridley is a writer and editor of educational books for children and young people.  Ryan Wheatcroft is an experienced children’s book illustrator.  This useful guide for readers aged 6+ (part of a series) advises on making friends, what friendship means, how friendships can become toxic and how to move on from friends as your interests diverge.  It’s written and illustrated in a sensitive and inclusive way and takes into account social media.

The book is divided into a number of chapters, which look at what friends are, what the difference is between friends and good friends and then moves on to how to make friends (taking into account what happens if you feel shy) and tackles what you should do if you feel lonely.  Ridley then moves on to consider what to do when friends fall out, what online friendships are and how friendships can change over time before concluding by examining what bad friendships are, the pressures of belonging to a group and how to stand up to bullies.  It’s a really comprehensive look at the subject and there’s plenty of small bits with practical advice on what to do plus questions posed back to the reader so they can reflect on what they’re read and apply it to their own lives.

I enjoyed Wheatcroft’s illustrations, which are inclusive and reflect different ethnic groups plus also wheelchair users (although as a general point about inclusivity, I am noticing a trend in children’s non-fiction for wheelchair users to be used as shorthand for disabled rather than including, e.g. blind or deaf people or people with Down’s Syndrome).

There’s an activity section at the back to help readers build on what they’ve learned, plus some further reading and resources for those who need it.  I particularly liked the fact that at the back there’s a box explaining what Ridley means when she talks about discussing issues with a trusted adult but wished that this had been put up front at the beginning of the book so that it has more impact.

All in all, I thought this was a well written book that gives younger readers a lot of material to work with and a way of processing what friendship means and how to handle common situations within friendships and friendship groups.  This book is part of a wider series and I would definitely check out the other books within it on the strength of this one.  

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