Friday, November 23, 2012

Modeling Friendship

Is it possible to model friendship for toddlers, to show examples of how to be a good friend? Jane Cowen-Fletcher's Baby Be Kind suggests the answer is, "Yes." 

Through a series of interconnected scenes between two toddlers, the author-artist depicts a strong friendship (and also how to treat one's pup well). The concept of sharing can be hard for littlest ones. They've just gained a sense of what it's like to have and to hold a toy, a Teddy bear, a graham cracker, and now they're being asked to let someone else play with their toys and share their snack.

The concept is a hard one to teach: You share your toy and then you get another turn. But they only know the here and now. The concept of "soon" is alien. But in these 18 pages, this terrific board book models what it's like to share, to take turns and other ways to be a good friend: how to help a friend up when he falls, to thank her, how to "say you're sorry when you are." 

At a time when toddlers are learning so much, here's a book of gentle humor and life lessons that could well serve them throughout their lives. 

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