How to Mend a Friend


How to Mend a Friend is a perplexing question. Should we make them laugh, write letters, tell them stories? Should we listen, give them space or share ice cream?

We consider all the ways that we might be there for a friend in times of difficulty, whether it be constant company, laughter, reading together or just recognising that they need to be alone. Then again, realising they might need to be angry, or even sad, is important too.

Karl Newson, whose picture books are beloved by Bookwagon, uses his experience and the reactions of those who care to inform readers through his rhyming text. Thereafter, Clara Anganuzzi travels through the animal kingdoms with our central character, seeking How to Mend a Friend. 

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How to Mend a Friend

Karl Newson, illustrated by Clara Anganuzzi

(Studio Press Books)

It can be hard to know how to make somebody feel better. It might be through actions such as shown in Maia and What Matters or Grandpa’s Gift However, most often in choosing How to Mend a Friend, is the knowledge that there are many different ways.
It might be through giving them a hug, sharing stories or taking time to listen. Then again, it could be giving them space or sharing things that they most enjoy. What’s more some friends could have ‘a list of things they’d like to try and do‘. Thereafter, others might choose to sit, not do much and say nothing. There might be songs and laughter, flowers and letters, anger and deep, impenetrable sadness…. However this picture book is inspired by the real-life trauma of Karl Newson and thereafter his thanks to those who were there for him.
How to Mend a Friend is a magnificent picture book selection for PSHE, bedtime stories, gifting as a thank you selection, sharing and keeping.This is a rhyming picture book, with warm inclusive pictures by Clara Anganuzzi. Furthermore, it includes a range of efforts across an animal saturated planet by a central character. It seems there is something universal here; a shared feeling, a need to support those we love, however difficult the situation, however varied the approach. What a tender, informed and respectful picture book.


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