My Best Friend is a Goldfish
Carolrhoda Books, 2018
24pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
“If you ask me, a best friend is the best thing in the world . Best friends enjoy the same things. They play together all the time. and they always get along with each other.”
So it was never going to end well when one wanted to be the captain of the spaceship and the other, the captain of the pirate ship. Harsh words are said, a friendship is split and a new best friend has to be found. But dogs, cats, hamsters and even goldfish have their drawbacks as best friends and so…
This seamless combination of text and illustrations challenges the concept that many little people have that best friends are like peas in a pod, liking and doing the same things at the same time and never being different. Is it possible to have different ideas and do different things and still be best friends? If someone disagrees with us, does that mean the friendship is doomed or does it offer an opportunity to explore and respect the differences, perhaps even learn something new? Can we have more than one friend at a time? How is a best friend different from a regular friend? While in this book the friends look similar, is this a pre-requisite to being friends? How do shared values and beliefs affect friendships? Is it OK to be angry with or disappointed in or surprised by your best friend?
“What is a friend?” is a perennial topic in early childhood education and this book can take the conversation a step further by having the children consider those sorts of questions. Having friends is about being a friend and there are many facets to that.