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Poindexter Makes a Friend by M. Twohy

Twohy, Mike. Poindexter Makes a Friend. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011. Print.

Full disclosure: this is a book, reviewed by a librarian, about making a friend at the library. However, the gentle charms of Poindexter Makes a Friend will appeal to most everyone, regardless of the size of one’s soft spot for libraries.

Poindexter is an introverted young pig who would rather read a story to his stuffed animals than go out to play in his neighbourhood. His adores his local public library, where he helps to shelve books and push the book cart. Poindexter’s comfortable life of library volunteerism is interrupted when Shelby, a shy turtle, asks for help finding a book about how to make friends.

Some children make friends easily, and some do not. Either way, friends are a pressing concern for the pre-school and early elementary crowd, the audience for Poindexter Makes a Friend. The book’s appeals include the friendly, expressive watercolours of author Mike Twohy, a veteran New Yorker cartoonist. However, the book’s most valuable facet is its discussion of how to make friends, which takes place, not pedantically, between Poindexter and Shelby. This discussion includes concrete, age-appropriate parsing of concepts such as “sharing” and “being nice,” and could make a good launching point for a group discussion at a library story hour or at the beginning of a new school year.

This is a tale that is simple, but not simplistic. As Poindexter helps Shelby, so will Poindexter Makes a Friend help bashful souls to emerge a little bit from their shells.

Recommended: 3 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Sarah Polkinghorne

Sarah is a Public Services Librarian at the University of Alberta. She enjoys all sorts of books.