A New Friend

A New Friend
Lucy Menzies and Maddy Vian
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

This truly heartwarming story is told from the perspectives of two children, Mae and Joe and it’s a terrific demonstration of there being two sides to every story. On the left side Mae introduces herself telling readers of her excitement about there being a new arrival in town for whom she has written a special letter to give him at school. At playtime though, she’s unable to find him anywhere.

Joe, the new boy tells his story on the right side explaining that he and his dad have just moved to a new home and now everything feels strangely different. He’s eager to make new friends like his dad says but Joe feels invisible in the playground, wishing he could be back playing space adventures with his old friends. Then suddenly …

Could this be the start of an exciting friendship, and further space adventures perhaps …

A smashing, cleverly conceived book that will help young children understand the importance of empathy and how sometimes being in an unsettling, worrying situation might lead to misunderstandings or misconstrual on a newcomer’s part. Both children however show courage: Mae for her persistence and determination to show kindness, Joe for facing up to his fears. Close perusal of Maddy Vian’s bright, inclusive illustrations will reveal lots of galactic theme details such as the sticker on Mae’s letter, toy rockets and Joe’s backpack.

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