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I used this book a while ago during our circle time theme of friendship so I dug this book out as a starter for the session as this is a simple story on the universal theme of friendship and finding friends. - The story - On the first page there is a mouse who is looking for a friend and asks the question: "Do you want to be my friend?". He addresses this question to a pictured animal's tail and it is only when the page is turned that you see the full drawing of the animal. The animal does not respond but the facial features of it tells you that it isn't interested in being the mouse's friend. Mouse continues his quest to find a friend, proceeding hopefully from the unfriendly alligator / crocodile to the lion, hippo, seal, monkey, peacock, fox, kangaroo and giraffe. Each time he meets the tail of the next animal before it's full body is shown, until finally he meets a mouse who says "Yes". The final page show the two new friends underground looking very happy that they are no longer alone. - Style - With the exception of the words 'The End' there are only 8 words in this book; the question and the answer! It is therefore perfect for young children, pre-readers as it gives them the opportunity to create their own story based on the pictures in the book. - Illustrations - As ever, Eric Carle's artistic talents are brilliant. The animals are very boldly presented on a white back drop. Bright colours are used and the collage effect style of Carle is evident. Children enjoy guessing which animal the tail belongs to and they see whether their predictions were right on the following page. Throughout the book there is what appears to be a thick green border on each page, at the end of the book this is revealed as being a snake which has obviously been after the mouse for it's supper! - Educational value - Encourages children's predictive and story telling skills. It enables children to think about and discuss the value of friendship. It also develops an understanding of size, since the mouse is so much smaller than the other animals it wants to befriend. Different mathematical language relating to size can be encouraged, e.g. larger, smaller, bigger etc - Price and availability - Do you want to be my friend? has been published by Puffin, Philomel Books & Harper Festival. My paperback Puffin copy was £4.99 but if you get a chance, check out www.amazon.co.uk for better deals: Paperback ~ used and new from 48p Boardbook ~ used and new from 26p Hardcover ~ used and new from £1.49 - Other books by Eric Carle - There are too many to mention, but some favourites of mine are: Rooster's Off to see the world Today is Monday From Head to Toe Polar Bear, Polar Bear, what do you hear? Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see? The very hungry caterpillar The very busy spider The mixed-up chameleon
Mouse is lonely so he searches for a friend among the other animals, until at last another mouse appears.