A Friend Like You

A Friend Like You by Tanja Askani

Through photographs taken at her animal shelter and rehab center in Germany, Askani explores friendships.  The photographs are unusual pairings of animals from pigs and dogs to owls and squirrels.   The book has one line of text per photo making it very child-friendly though the textual content never matches the quality of the photos.  It is the photos and the afterward that is filled with details about the relationships of the animals that really make this book special.  Children will page through it again and again, and even adults will want to share the image of the bunny sticking his tongue out at a hedgehog.  OK, I want one for my office wall.

Don’t let it’s cutesy cover and text fool you, this is a charming book with lots to offer.  The book features wild animals as well as domesticated, making for some of the most intriguing photographs.  Readers will ignore the text provided, and instead have conversations about the animals and friendships of their own.  No one will miss the message that no matter how different we seem, we can be friends. 

Recommended for libraries where the photographs will easily get this into the hands of animal-loving children.  This won’t work well for a story time, because the pleasure is in the end pages and the personal discussions, but children will love having a chance to pore over the pages and share their favorite images.  Appropriate for ages 4-8.

Reviewed from library copy.

Also reviewed by 4IQREAD.