The Friendship Bench


When your day is filled with cartwheels and throwing a ball for your dog to the ‘splash and curl‘ of the waves at your new home, a new school is a challenge. Although Mum promises Tilly that she will be outside with Shadow, waiting for Tilly’s return, Tilly aches for them. It seems The Friendship Bench offers hope, according to the teacher, who sees Tilly daunted by the big, outside play area. However, there’s a boy seated on the bench already. Eventually the pair wonder at what the bench is supposed to do. Might it be broken?

Could Tilly and Flint mend The Friendship Bench? Might they need sticks and leaves and ‘very, very special magic sand‘? Thereafter, might this bench actually work?

It seems that Tilly and Flint discover something in their shared effort and then in each other at The Friendship Bench. Like the other wonderful picturebooks upon which Wendy Meddour and Daniel Egnéus have collaborated, The Friendship Bench is rich in meaning, pathos, hope and soaring, subtle images. Bookwagon loves this picture book and recommends it unequivocally for sharing at home, loving, gifting and knowing at school and nursery, too.

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The Friendship Bench

Wendy Meddour and Daniel Egnéus


Is there any way that Shadow might join Tilly at school? Mum says that she and Shadow will be waiting for Tilly outside. However, outside with them is where Tilly yearns to be. It seems outside at school means all on your own. Yet, could The Friendship Bench  offer ‘new friends to play with‘. However, might that mean a journey to the other end of the playground, and a discovery that the bench is busy. It seems the teacher suggests Tilly should try again…
What might happen if Tilly sits alongside a lone boy? It seems they do not have to look at each other, for there are shoes and sky and seagull and grass upon which to stare. Then again, what is supposed to happen by sitting on this place? Tilly and the boy surmise ‘it isn’t working‘ and wonder if ‘it’s broken‘. Then again, maybe they could fix it? Thereafter, what about sticks and leaves and ‘magic sand‘?
It seems that the picture books we’ve enjoyed from Wendy Meddour and Daniel Egnéus are rich with warmth and meaning. Then again, we recognise ourselves in the situations, from Tilly’s fears to her excitement at meeting Flint. What’s more, there’s opportunity to read between the lines, so that we recognise the teacher’s direction and then the possibility of what is mended by Tilly and Flint. Like their Tibble and Grandpa or Tisha and the Blossom, this story is subtle and heart warming, so that we linger over pictures of soaring skies, tumbling sand and gentle, hopeful friendships. Bookwagon loves and recommends The Friendship Bench for home reading, and sharing in school, too.


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