How to Mend a Friend by Karl Newson & Clara Anganuzzi

Published by Studio Press, 2021.

How to Mend a Friend is a beautiful exploration of kindness and what it means to be a friend. A young girl spends time with her animal friends, learning how to support and care for each of them when they’re feeling sad. I really love how the book recognises that each friend needs something different to feel better: someone to listen, time alone, a book, a laugh, a slice of cake. It gives the story depth and authenticity.

The book is hugely important for developing empathy and it reflects sensitively on the myriad of ways that sadness might manifest itself: from quiet melancholy to regret, and from withdrawal to rage.

Importantly, different types of friendship are also considered – long distance, lifelong and temporary – and this will give children a broader perspective on how friendships can work.

How to Mend a Friend is illustrated beautifully, with warmth and tenderness. I particularly loved the aerial rainforest view and the underwater scene with the beluga whales.

The book celebrates friendship in all its forms, and is wonderfully uplifting and hopeful. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Rating: 💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 3+

Thank you to Studio Press for sending me this book to review. I reviewed it as part of the How to Mend a Friend blog tour where illustrator Clara Anganuzzi shared some of her early sketches for the book with me. Click here to see them.

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